Mumbai: Sony Pictures Networks (SPN) has acquired exclusive rights to broadcast the prestigious football award—the 2022 Ballon d'Or—in the Indian subcontinent, including India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Maldives, and Sri Lanka—and non-exclusive rights in Pakistan. The broadcaster will telecast the Ballon d'Or ceremony live on Sony Ten 2 channels on 17 October 2022, at 10:20 p.m. IST. The awards will also be live-streamed on SPN's on-demand OTT platform, SonyLIV.
The Ballon d'Or is an annual football award hosted by France Football that honours top football players across various European clubs. Considered amongst the top football awards, the Ballon d'Or has played a significant role in recognising the greatest football players across the world. The award, which dates back to 1956, has seen some great players rise to fame, from Stanley Matthews to Lionel Messi. In 2018, the marquee award started honouring top female players, and Ada Hegerberg became the first female footballer to receive the Ballon d'Or.
The 66th edition of the marquee awards will go down in history as it will be the first time the results will be announced based on season and not year. With seven-time winner Lionel Messi out of the race, the 2022 Ballon d'Or will see a new winner as top football players gear up for the night. While the nominees were announced this year on 12 August, fans are rooting for Real Madrid star Karim Benzema to steal the show and win the coveted award. Other players cutting it close in the race include Bayern Munich's Sadio Mane and FC Barcelona's Robert Lewandowski. In the women's category, Barcelona and Spain midfielder, Alexia Putellas, lead the nominee list as fan favourites, followed by Chelsea's Sam Kerr and Arsenal's Beth Mead.
Sony Pictures Networks India chief revenue officer, distribution and head of sports business Rajesh Kaul said, "The Ballon d'Or is considered the top football honour across the globe, and it is our privilege to be associated with such a prestigious award. The award is a pinnacle of recognition for football players worldwide, and we endeavour to provide such content to fans in India. The Ballon d'Or has recognised the greatest footballers in the past and continues to do so as football fans across the nation wait eagerly to see their favourite player crowned as the winner and enter the greatest of the greats club."