Telecom giant Vodafone and television network Star India have entered strategic partnership to create the multi-sports offering, ‘Vodafone Sports’ portal on Vodafone Live. This offering is a first-of-its-kind service that brings action from across sports to feature phones and smartphones allowing customers access to a variety of sporting content on the go. Vodafone Sports is powered by starsports.com and offers customers premium live and curated in-depth content built around some of the most popular sports in India such as cricket, football, tennis, hockey, golf and motorsport. It will feature content on cricket, football and hockey at the launch and will cover other major sports like Formula 1 and tennis over time. For Vodafone, the initiative is a step towards realising its strategy to drive data consumption and penetration on mobile. According to the company, it has nearly 100 million data customers out of which almost 45 million use data on the mobile regularly. Through Vodafone Sports, the telecom operator intends to drive data consumption among these users and rope in other users through relevant and high quality sports content. Vivek Mathur, chief commercial officer, Vodafone India said, “The launch of Vodafone Sports is an industry first initiative to bring across best of premium live and curated sports content blended with immersive interactive platform and content-delivery. Following the launch of Vodafone Music few months ago, it complements our strategy to expand our digital offering and tailor it to mobile internet users who are increasingly consuming content on the go.” He adds that customers are very used to snacking on content on their mobiles and this will be the main source of data consumption. Keeping this in mind, the service has plans for snippets of content at prices as low s Rs 3 per video clip or Rs 10 to Rs 20 a match. For Star India, the tie-up fits in perfectly with its plan to double the consumption of its multi sport digital platform starsports.com over the next couple of months.
With three major tournaments lined up – the Asia Cup, the ICC T-20 World Cup and the Indian Premier League, Star India is looking at the mobile medium aggressively as a means to increase reach.Sanjay Gupta, COO, Star India, said, “Our ambition is to the shape the future of entertainment on a mobile screen; sports is the first big initiative for us. starsports.com has already set a new standard for sports fans hungry to consume sports without being tied to their television. This partnership will bring the power of our service to a whole new audience.” The tie-up includes a revenue sharing deal between the telecom operator and Star India based on the packages or plans opted for by users. The content will be ad free for the time being. As a result of the tie-up with Star, customers using Vodafone Sports will have access to an exhaustive array of legal, unadulterated content at their fingertips, including all the latest news, trivia, scores and results, instant access to live matches, interactive video scorecards, exclusive insight and analysis, columns, photos and wallpapers across sports. The interactive video scorecard, for example, will allow users to watch the fall of a wicket or replay individual innings highlights for a particular player right from the scorecard, so if you miss a pivotal, game-changing moment in a game, or a match-winning knock, you can replay it at the touch of a button. Apart from live games, customers will also be able to sample additional archived video content, such as the best of M. S. Dhoni’s sixes or Sachin’s straight drives, created from over 10,000 hours of cricket footage.