Sporting a never-say-die attitude!
Kanthi D Suresh, the Editor-in-Chief of digital sports channel Power Sportz, which has huge traffic of two million viewers every day in English and Hindi, talks about her stint in sports journalism, and launching the channel
The quintessential Hyderabadi Kanthi D Suresh, better-half of former Hyderabadi Ranji Cricketer and now a bureaucrat D Suresh, is the Editor-in-Chief of Power Sportz, India's first digital sports news channel.
The channel, which is now available as an app is all geared up to celebrate its first anniversary in May.
Kanthi was recently in Hyderabad and in an exclusive chat, she shared her journey. "We are basically from Tamil Nadu, however, my father relocated to Hyderabad as he was working for a British company."
She is related to the former chief minister of Tamil Nadu J Jayalalithaa. "She is actually my cousin; however, people think that I am her niece."
"I was 17 when I fell in love with D Suresh, and we decided to tie the nuptial knot when I was 21. After we were married, he cleared his IAS and was posted to Haryana cadre. We moved from one place to another in the north and my career shifted to New Delhi."
A student of Nasr school and resident of Begumpet, Kanthi did her BA from Osmania University. And that lead her to work in various companies in HR related positions.
"Along with that I was freelancing for the DD Sports, and I covered Olympics, Common Wealth and Asian games regularly for them. The first Olympics that I covered was in 2008 when I was 32 and I am 42 now.
I got a lot of experience in the field of multi-sports which is more difficult than a single sport like cricket if you have to host something like Olympics you need much more knowledge.
So, I picked up a lot of knowledge during those years and then it was coupled with my passion. I could not do it earlier as I had my kids very early who were very important, I have two sons. Broadcast media was a full-time thing, but my time could not manage it."
"I kept my passion alive and did not let that die. I never took a break, I was doing my HR full-time job and freelancing for media. I knew if I would take a full-time plunge into the media it would have been much more toxic than anything as you know media is very demanding."
About launching Power Sportz she says, "In 2015, I thought it was the right time as my kids were grown up and then the idea of launching a sports channel struck me.
I took it one step forward and wanted to be unique. I started to do research about the problems that exist in sports in our country and then I realised there were many problems in sports.
There were no broadcast platforms to cover these issues. So, I thought this is a space I would like to enter as I would be a problem solver and solution provider and my idea would be unique that's how I decided to let us open a sports news in journalism and be the first one in the country to do it.
We are India's first sports news and journalism channel. I am the only woman in India who has found a sports channel in a male-dominated world."
What were the challenges? "Ah! Many. The big challenge was gender and the other was technology. We are a live digital sports channel and we are 24/7 flagship digital channel, nobody flagships sport digital channels but simulcast feed on the internet platform.
We are not on satellite; we are only on a digital platform. It is governed by a high level of technologies so there were huge challenges.
Availability of manpower was a huge challenge because there are no agencies. You can see there are no sports universities if there are, they are hardly few when related to sports journalism."
"There has been a tremendous and overwhelming response. We get about two million views every day (as recorded by the Google analysis). We have three to 3.5 lakh users for our channel. We are globally available on the android, IOS and Amazon Fire TV."
Talking about being a woman and handling a sports channel she shares, "Initially, when I started this journey nobody took me seriously. But I took it as a challenge.
I thought the only solution is to put in more hard work and effort. Today, when I conduct a show and a debate the men, who come on the panel have lesser knowledge than me."
"There are definitely threats of being a woman, who is raising contentious issues in a male dominant segment, but that does not deter me from what I have to do, because I am driven by a lot of passion and there are a cause and purpose starting this channel.
It brings out the best in me," says Kanthi, who helms the hit sports debate show 'Talking with Turkey'.
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