Cricket content brand Wisden will foray into the Indian market through a licensing agreement with sports management firm, FidelisWorld. The company will offer content properties across digital, tv and print, featuring news, views, and entertainment based on cricket. According to a statement from the company, the Wisden India digital portfolio will include the Wisden India web portal, games and mobile apps. This follows FidelisWorld’s long-term licensing agreement with Bloomsbury Publishing, which owns the brand, to also covers Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, the United Arab Emirates, and North America, in addition to India. The URL – wisdenindia.com presently redirects to FidelisWorld’s home page and has been registered by Amit Krishnan of FidelisWorld.
In addition to tv and radio programs, legacy events and activities including the Wisden India Cricketer Awards, as well as a cricket Hall of Fame and Museum form part of the company’s plans for India. An India specific ‘Blue Edition’ of the Wisden Cricketer’s Almanack and other special edition releases will be part of Wisden India’s print activities. The content properties will cover Test matches, One-Day Internationals, the Indian Premier League and domestic cricket.
The company has also appointed former-Indian cricketer Sourav Ganguli as the President of Wisden’s Editorial Board, with Dileep Premachandran stepping-in as the Editor-in-Chief, Suresh Menon as Almanack Editor, and Joy Bhattacharjya as Media Director, apart from other experts, including some Indian cricket players as well as journalists who would also contribute.
Wisden would be competing with ESPNCricInfo, among other cricket content destinations. Iroically, Wisden had sold CricInfo to ESPN in 2007, after acquiring it in 2003 saying that ESPN would be able to offer the right environment for CricInfo’s growth. So it seems that the company is taking a U-turn by entering the content business, with an eye on India, a market where the game attracts more number of eye-balls and advertising revenue than anything else.