The question that arises is why is VOOT disrupting the sports industry?
The Digital revolution has been one of the breakthrough events in recent times. Ever since the growing penetration of smartphones among the masses, digital consumption of any form of media is part of the new normal.
Not so long ago, Television was the most-watched medium. However, the trend has changed, and we even saw it at the IPL media rights auction. Digital rights sale were higher than the TV rights for the first time in history.
Reliance-owned Viacom 18 won the right to broadcast IPL matches on their digital platform Voot.
The platform(VOOT) lags way behind giants such as Disney+Hotstar and Netflix in terms of entertainment content. Although, Voot is on its way to capturing the sports market in India, and here’s how they are doing it.
There were times when Star and Sony networks used to dominate sports broadcasting in India. Premier League, Serie A, La Liga, Bundesliga, Champions League, FIFA World Cup, and you name any competition, these two networks were the ones holding the rights to stream them. But Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance is proving to be the new leader in the market.
In 2021, VOOT won the digital rights to broadcast Serie A, Ligue 1, and La Liga for three seasons.
The same year, Viacom 18 won the digital rights to broadcast the 2022 FIFA World Cup after paying a sum of 480 crores.
NBA and Viacom 18 joined hands to broadcast NBA games to the fans in a multi-year deal.
They hold exclusive rights to Badminton tournaments, ATP 1000 tours, and PSA World Tour.
The latest entrant to their kitty is the Indian Premier League. Viacom 18 paid a sum of 23,758 crores for the digital rights of the tournament, higher than Star network’s winning bid for TV rights.
Why is Voot capturing sports market in India?
Hence, within a year, Voot has dominated sports broadcasting in India. The two major leagues that they miss out on are the Premier League and the UEFA champions league. The latter’s digital rights are with Sony, set to expire in 2024, and Viacom 18 looks like the next potential candidate for it. While EPL’s deal with Star network will expire in 2024. The question that arises is why is VOOT disrupting the sports industry?
The answer is simple. Ambani is known to disrupt settled players once he sees the scope of a sector. Foreseeing the growth of smartphones, Reliance started Jio, which proved to be a pioneer for the OTT revolution in India.
Hence, by buying rights for sports leagues, the company is trying to bring sports audiences to their platform, and increase their subscriptions from around the World.
As per reports, the Indian digital consumer economy will grow 10x times to 800 Billion dollars by 2030 compared to 80 billion dollars at present.
Earlier, cricket analyst Harsha Bhogle tweeted about the same.
Adding on, getting paid subscriptions for viewing sports is higher than getting subscriptions through entertainment.
Hence this investment in sports would reap benefits in coming years for Reliance and even benefit their e-commerce activities.