Times Internet Limited (Indiatimes) has tied up with PERFORM, a sports media company to offer online and mobile video content for English Premier League. Users can access the content online from indiatimes.com, on mobile from Indiatimes 58888. PERFORM’s Video on Demand platform, eplayer, will also feature the same content. But what you have to take note of in this deal, is the sales part: according to a note from the company, the advertisement revenue will be shared by both the parties, although it doesn’t mention the ratio. The English Premier League it has a niche audience in India, and but there might be advertisers interested in either supporting free viewing of EPL content, or the company will have to go with pay-per-view. YouTube, though, remains the destination for viewing most football content online or mobile.
There has been an increase in the number of sports related deals for Indiatimes. Apart from the EPL deal, Indiatimes has inked the following partnerships in the last year and a half:
– Everton FC: This is Indiatimes’ second football related deal – the first was with Everton FC in April last year, though we never did notice whether Indiatimes did something with that content.
– IPL: Earlier this year, a consortium led by Indiatimes had secured the rights to the Indian Premier League for Internet, Mobile, Radio and Television for an amount of Rs. 261.6 crore for 2011-14. The company had reported a 62% increase in online viewership for IPL4 with combined page views of 5.5 million with 0.6 unique visitors.
– ICC World Cup: The company also had the mobile rights that included SMS, voice & video alerts, live audio commentary and content downloads for the ICC World Cup 2011.
– NBA: Recently the company had collaborated with National Basketball Association (NBA) to launch a dedicated section on its webiste. It claims to offer video highlights, photo galleries and articles along with original columns from Times Group journalists.
Note that the Venky’s group owns EPL football club Blackburn Rovers, and Liverpool FC launched a football academy in the country recently.
PERFORM claims to have the digital rights for more than 200 sports including the associated leagues, tournaments and events and has a user base of 95 million. Last year, it claims to have provided live footages for over 25,000 separate sporting events with 1.1 billion video streams. In addition to third party subscription platforms such as Chelsea football club and WTA Tour, the company also offers two subscription platforms: Livesport.tv, which offers live streaming of competitions and events including Portuguese, Dutch, Italian, Bulgarian, South American and US football, handball and mixed martial arts along, and Sportal Scoreboard, which is live score and match data service for mobile.
(With inputs from Nikhil Pahwa)