SonyLIV makes its way to the South
The platform launches 2000 hours of content in sports, entertainment, infotainment
With the video-on-demand trend gaining momentum in the south, the latest to join the race is SonyLIV. Uday Sodhi, Business Head Digital, Sony Pictures Networks India was in Chennai yesterday, along with directors Balaji Mohan and Singeetham Srinivas to announce the launch. "Plans to venture into Tamil and Telugu have been there for more than a year now. Before we made a formal launch, we wanted to be sure that we were well prepared. Now, with 2000 hours of content in sports, entertainment, infotainment, we're making our entry. There are a total of 80 million users from the Tamil and Telugu speaking states and 20 per cent of consumption comes from these users," says Uday.
SonyLIV has planned on releasing more than a dozen series soon. "We have four lined up already, which will be out in the next two months. Unlike other broadcast companies who have a footprint here, we are bringing in digital-first content. We have invested a significant amount in this market, and you can expect to watch sports with Tamil documentary as well as dubbed versions of famous series that we already have in other languages. Hence, we will be able to bring in new content and talents into the industry," adds Uday, who points out that concentrating on the southern states will give the advertisers a pan-country presence. Headlining the announcement was the launch of SonyLIV’s first Tamil original, Aivar, which features Ashwin Kakamanu and Sanjana Galrani in the lead. This will be followed by titles such as The Farm and My Marappu, the first show to be shot completely in the USA.
When asked how SonyLIV will compete with local and international platforms, Uday says, "We feel that the sports and original content will be huge differentiators. A lot has gone behind the concepts as well as the names we would like to be associated with." Sony Pictures Network’s top 20 shows, movies and originals like Pitchers, Tripling and Permanent Roommates will also be updated in Tamil and Telugu. One of SonyLIV's longest running shows, Crime Patrol, will also be remade with locally relevant stories and characters.