Sportz Interactive, a Mumbai based digital sports content company, is powering two properties for NDTV: FootballIndia and F1Pulse, for Formula 1 fans. Both sports have a niche following in India, and we learned about Sportz while trying to figure out if there any Indian companies doing anything for what is the biggest sports event in the world – the FIFA World Cup. From what we can tell, no one has acquired exclusive digital rights for the event for India.
Sportz Interactive is rather interesting, particularly since most media companies in India just put up their print content online, or re-purpose it, without doing much that is exclusive for the web…as I’ve said before, there’s very little that differentiates one media site from the other.
Mumbai based Sportz appears to play both content creator and aggregator: it’s is a part of the STATS LLC‘s network, and provides technology, data and content solutions for platforms like the web, mobile, audio, TV, DTH, IPTV, digital OOH and print, including real time scores, historical sports information, fantasy sports applications, wire service content – essentially doing a media company’s job, but with niche focus and expertise. The focus works for them particularly since they have historical databases for sports/events like Cricket, Football, Formula One, Moto GP, Tennis, Golf, the Olympic Games, which many media companies may not have.
We missed this earlier, but they also recently powered a Cricket related iPhone app for Reliance Mobile, and in the past, Castrol Cricket as well. In 2009, STATS inked a deal to be the official data partner for the International Cricket Council, in a three multi-year deal, which would cover the ICC Cricket World Cup as well.
We’re not quite sure of how the deal with NDTV has been struck – whether NDTV is paying Sportz for providing it with sports related content, or Sportz is paying NDTV for the traffic it will funnel through to the website. I wonder if this model can be extended to other domains – we already have sites which specialize in astrology content, and services which are monetizing their audience (mostly marketing deals). Not many sites still doing exclusive and differentiated content: what happens when every site has similar partnerships, and similar content? A media portal just becomes another aggregator.