Score Big: India's Top Sports Streaming Platforms
A look at the streaming options available to the Indian sports fan
Welcome to the 2nd edition of “Streaming in India”, your weekly news digest about streaming players, OTT trends and more in one of the fastest growing video markets, India. If you are not already a subscriber, sign up and receive it directly in your inbox every Wednesday.
The Streaming Media Guy’s view
A lesser known but fast growing direct-to-consumer “hyperlocal” sports streaming/tech startup helping all kinds of sports across India not only gain an audience (35,000+ live matches & 200,000+ athletes profiled so far), but also monetize their live events.
In the process, they also help discover hidden talent below the pro tier. Another interesting part of their business is to equip sports teams, leagues & tournaments with high quality cameras, streaming equipment & cloud studio software thereby helping digitise and commercialise the grassroots sports ecosystem in the country.
Started by sports veterans Yannick Colaco (ex-CEO of NBA India) and Prasana Krishnan (ex-Head of Sports, Sony Pictures India) in 2019 and owned by Dream 11, this direct to consumer streamer aims to be a holistic platform for the hardcore Indian sports fan bringing together live matches, highlights, reviews and also a fast growing e-commerce store, the FC Shop (also the International Cricket Council’s official India partner).
The live matches on Fancode also aim to satisfy the needs of fans on Dream 11 who create fantasy teams, picking players from upcoming matches and leagues, and therefore have a single window to watch the impact of their selected players.
In addition, the streaming service does a great job of slicing and dicing the subscription and transaction video on demand packages into match, tournament, monthly and yearly price points.
One of the oldest OTTs in India owned and operated by Sony Pictures Networks India, this platform has seen a lot of positive change in the recent past, with an attractive sleight of original programming (Scam) & marquee shows (Kaun Banega Crorepati etc).
On the Sports front, however, most of the digital Indian cricket rights are now owned by other players in the market. WWE, UFC, US Open tennis, up and coming football leagues such as the Roshn Saudi League etc are some of the marquee sports and tournaments carried on this platform currently.
It will be interesting to see how the sports streaming business evolves for the Zee-Sony merged entity!
An early shining light of the Indian OTT space, Hotstar (as we fondly call it!) lost a lot of its gloss when the Cricket IPL streaming rights auction was won by Viacom18 (JioCinema).
There was a time when Indian cricket fans would subscribe in massive numbers to watch top quality and close to real time video streaming on this platform enabling Hotstar to set several global records for live user concurrency which it would beat every year. Not one to go down without a fight, Hotstar will live stream the Asia Cup and ODI Cricket World Cup 2023 for FREE on mobile for the first time.
Interesting company to follow as it’s parent company Disney is rumoured to be on the lookout for a buyer of it’s Indian assets including linear and digital platforms.
The undisputed king of Indian sports streaming at the moment, the platform has grown to become THE go to destination for Tier 1 sports on the back of a disruptive FREE, Ad supported 2023 Cricket IPL showcase. After a few technical streaming issues on the platform at the beginning of the tournament, JioCinema came back well for a seamless, multi camera, social chat, gamified and localised streaming experience that ticked all the boxes for a truly world class viewing experience across devices.
In addition to the IPL streaming rights, they just won the Indian cricket “home” match rights until 2028 for a sum of close to Rs. 5,963 crores (approx. $723 million).
The Streaming Media Guy’s View
As the Indian sports fan finds stars and athletes outside of cricket, the sports streaming industry is poised for stupendous growth leveraging the fast growing bandwidth/data network in the country & the users’ love of the connected devices of their choice.
The next evolution and growth of the sports streaming industry will hinge on the culmination of the right content, commerce and community features on OTT platforms to create personalized fan engagement experiences.
And finally, teams, federations and leagues of all sizes in India should leverage direct to fan destinations to establish “data driven” digital growth for all their stakeholders.
If you like this newsletter and the topics being covered, please consider sharing it with your friends and colleagues!
I hope everyone has a fantastic rest of the week, a relaxing weekend and see you next Wednesday. Plus if you have had enough of the cricket, I would encourage you to catch the Rugby World Cup live on FanCode!
Streaming in India is a weekly news digest about streaming players, OTT trends and more in one of the fastest growing video markets, India. If you are not already a subscriber, sign up and receive it directly in your inbox every Wednesday.
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