MUMBAI: Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN) has signed multi-year broadcasting deal with Baseline Ventures and the Volleyball Federation of India (VFI) to broadcast the inaugural Pro Volleyball League next year.
Scheduled to kick-start in February 2019, the current league structure will consist of 18 matches, which will be played across two indoor venues.
“At SPN our focus has always been to promote a multi-sport culture in India and Pro Volleyball League is the perfect addition to our sports portfolio,” said Rajesh Kaul, President, Sports and Distribution Business, SPN. “Volleyball is an extremely popular sport in key markets like South and North India. From early discussions we realised that our values are completely aligned with Baseline Ventures’ – nurturing the development of various sports in India and we are happy to be on-board for the Pro Volleyball League.”
“We completely believe SPN to be the right partners for the global sport of Volleyball to take centre stage in India. We are looking forward to a great association,” said Tuhin Mishra, managing director of Baseline Ventures, which own the league.
The teams will consist of men from the national teams across all FIVB (the international governing body of the sport) member nations, with a predominant Indian player pool. Player auctions are scheduled for later this year and franchise-owners can bid for the Indian players from a bank of over 90 players, while the foreign players will be recruited via player draft.
Joy Bhattacharjya, CEO, Pro Volleyball League, said that to allow for a good and clear broadcast window for the League and to ensure that the League can be promoted extensively across all platforms including the Sony LIV, the company has decided to kick-start Pro Volleyball in early February. “India is today consuming great sports content through the year and with Sony as a partner, we hope to deliver a well packaged product that will leave a lasting impression on one and all,” he added.
Indian athletes have proven their talent and skill in the sport at various local, national and international platforms. Pro Volleyball League will give budding Indian athletes a platform to hone their skill and compete against some of the leading players from across the world.
Ramavtar Singh Jakhar, former international player and secretary-general, VFI, said, “Pro Volleyball League will truly redefine the sport of Volleyball in the country and with a broadcaster like Sony on board we are confident that Volleyball will soon become one of the most followed sport in India.”