NEW DELHI :
Broadcasting company Discovery Communications India has expanded the role of Vijay Rajput to head of DSPORT, its sports channel. Rajput is currently serving as senior vice president – affiliate sales and product distribution, with an additional responsibility of heading the company’s sports business in South Asia.
Rajput has spent more than three decades in the media industry. Prior to Discovery, he was chief operating officer at sports broadcaster ESPN STAR Sports.
“We are yet to actualize the full potential of our sports business in India. This year, Vijay will lead efforts to ensure that DSPORT channel gets its rightful due in the sports broadcast arena," Megha Tata, managing director, Discovery – South Asia, said in a statement.
Discovery is currently expanding its in-house sports-focused team considering the intense competition in the sports vertical. The company has also ended its relationship with third-party service provider Lex Sportel, bringing all services in-house, effective 14 February, 2020.
“We are reviewing DSPORT’s content strategy at the moment, as we aim to make it a more holistic multi-sport offering which will connect with passionate fan communities in a more engaging manner," Rajput said in a statement.
The Discovery network currently operates 13 channels in India including Discovery Channel, Discovery HD, Animal Planet, Animal Planet HD, TLC, TLC HD, JEET Prime, JEET Prime HD, Discovery Science, Discovery Turbo, Discovery Kids, Discovery Tamil and sports channel DSPORT. In another major announcement, it had appointed Tata as managing director – South Asia, last year. The post has been vacant since Karan Bajaj quit the company in September 2018 as head of India and South Asia.
In India, DSPORT competes with a clutch of sports channels in the Star India portfolio which owns the telecast rights to the popular cricket tournament Indian Premier League besides all cricket played under the Board for Control of Cricket in India (BCCI). It also competes with the sports channels under Sony Pictures Networks.
DSPORT currently showcases foreign cricket properties like the Bangladesh Premier League, Islamic Bank of Afghanistan Cup, Afghanistan Premier League, among others.