Changing Landscape of Sports Consumption and Engagement in India

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According to the FICCI-EY report, IPL remained the most popular sports league with the greatest television reach in 2019

Sport has always been one of the best means of entertainment and recreation for the people of our country. Previously, sports consumption had a different meaning. Fans would stay glued to their television sets for hours watching their favorite sport, which for a long time was mainly cricket. But, with the onset of the digital revolution, the way fans consume sports has undergone a drastic change. Now viewers have the freedom and access to watch not only cricket but also different sports including hockey, kabaddi, football and basketball. Moreover, keeping track of important national and international tournaments can also be done with great ease thanks to several digital means available to users.

Rise of sports leagues

Currently, various sports leagues are attracting more audiences than ever before. According to the FICCI-EY report, the IPL remained the most popular sports league with the greatest television reach, followed by the Pro Kabaddi League in 2019 (the PKL did not take place in 2020). Apart from this, viewers also find it appropriate to watch multiple sports and leagues on apps. Nowadays, OTT sports platforms can be used by viewers to watch high quality sports content. In addition, many sports websites provide detailed live scores, allowing viewers to better visualize the game. Most of these sports can also be broadcast live digitally. This breakthrough is due in large part to the evolution of digital infrastructure associated with the availability of the smartphone ecosystem and the massive penetration of a profitable internet.

Role of fantasy sports

In addition, the emergence of fantasy sports in India is also a boon for sports fans and the sports industry. He transformed the sports landscape by turning viewers into active participants. The monotony of sitting in front of TV screens has been broken and fans have the opportunity to actively engage in the game. By allowing fans to form their fantastic teams made up of players from future tournaments, Fantasy Sports Platforms give them a good chance to earn points and cash rewards and experience the thrill of the game firsthand. However, the chance of winning a reward would depend on how well players perform in the actual game.

At the same time, the surge in people’s spending on fantasy sports is overwhelming. An IBEF study points out that in 2019-2020, the amount of contest entries spent by users in the online fantasy sports market reached Rs 16,500 crore. These numbers indicate the enormity of the fantasy sports market and its ever increasing reach among the masses. Interested fans simply need to register and participate in the games of their choice. Participation fees are also nominal on several platforms. Better involvement of people would keep them informed of the latest sporting events, athletes and their performances. All of these factors improve the sports knowledge of the audience, besides giving them fun and excitement while watching the game. In addition, the commitment and attention of enthusiasts has reached a new level. This has also resulted in an increase in the number of viewers of real sports.

As a result, the changing landscape of sports consumption and engagement is visible. The increased adoption of digital means by the public improves their experience and keeps them up to date. Whether it’s live streaming a favorite sport with the click of a button or participating in fantastic sports to participate in a sporting event, the environment only gets better for sports fans or consumers.

The author is the founder of Fantasy Akhada

DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed are those of the author and Outlook Money does not necessarily endorse them. Outlook Money will not be liable for any damages caused to any person / organization directly or indirectly.

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