Indian sports media still challenging for women: Kanthi Suresh

New Delhi, Nov 26 : One year after establishing Power Sportz, India's first over-the-top sports news channel, Kanthi D.

Suresh believes that things have not changed much for women wanting to make a mark in the male-dominated space of sports media.

"A woman wanting to be in sports media was a challenge and it continues to be one," Kanthi told IANS in an interview.

But challenges do not deter Kanthi's course of action. Power Sportz today has close to four lakh daily users. Out of this around 2.5 lakh are from India, she claimed, while sharing her plans for the next year.

"A pan-India spread of our reporters in all parts of the country, talking about sports issues in their respective regions are some of the targets for the coming New Year.

Kerala should know whats happening in Kashmir in sports, and vice versa. I want Power Sportz to connect the country through sports awareness. Global reporting from different countries is also high on my agenda," she said.

Kanthi, who has covered major sports events including the Olympics, Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games for India over the years, felt that "sports in India needed disruption, it needed questioning, it needed a stimuli..."

"What was lacking was a voice that could echo the sentiments of so many athletes and aspirants who were passionate about bringing laurels to the country..and thus the tag line to Power Sportz, as the Voice of Sports," she said, elaborating the factors that led her to take the plunge of setting up a digital sports channel.

"I have always been spurred on by the idea of doing something that has not been done, and making a positive difference to society, the country, the world," she said.

But doing something new is not always easy. Kanthi faced several challenges.

"The biggest challenge was to convince people that sports was more than just a match being played.

That's the only thing that was showcased with respect to sport in India, and that's all people knew. They couldn't think beyond a match score, the winner and the loser. I was looking upon sport as a subject to be discussed, and debated upon," she said.

"The second big challenge was access to information about sports in different parts of the country.

You don't have a single agency for sports news. The third challenge was trained manpower in the field of sports journalism," she said.

After successfully running the channel for a year, she has observed that it is not just cricket that people want to talk about.

"Viewers love to listen and know about issues in every sport, be it cricket, football, badminton or golf," she said.

After successfully running Power Sportz for the past one year, Kanthi, who is related to Jayalalithaa on both her maternal side and paternal side, where she is a cousin to Jayalalithaa and a niece from the paternal side, is planning to start a political news channel, as well.

"A political news channel is definitely on the agenda. It will be on the digital platform to begin with, and maybe see content sharing across different platforms," she said.

"The biggest advantage of a digital platform is the reach, it cuts across geographical barriers.

The disadvantage happens only when technology doesn't keep pace, and that is still an issue in some parts of India, but changing fast," Kanthi, who plays various sports including badminton, lawn tennis and squash at the club level, said.



Source: IANS