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Airtel Ties Up With Novosol To Offer Sports Content On Mobile

Novosol,  a Singapore based mobile advertising and media content company, has tied up with Bharti Airtel to offer its mobile sports media services – MoCricket, MoFutbol and MoSportz to Airtel subscribers. The company intends to roll these services across various channels like WAP, MMS, Video, SMS, IVR and Apps, starting with WAP services today.

While we’re not sure if users would like to pay for mobile internet content, since most of it is available free on sports portals, who already have mobile websites, SMS and USSD alerts might get some subscribers hooked on. Again, operators and SMS keyword aggregators already have tie-ups with content providers, and revenue share agreements. So it would not be all smooth sailing for Novosol.

However,  Novosol CEO, Minhaz Lokhandwala has high hopes. He stated that they are currently targeting 150 million customers and an annual revenue of Rs 500 crore through this service. He stated that if 10% of Airtel’s 180 million subscribers use this service at Rs. 1 per day, they can cross the target with ease. In return, Airtel will benefit from revenues from various channels like VAS, data revenues, P2P revenues and an increase in data & MMS service usage, thereby boosting the overall average revenue per user (ARPU) for the telecom operator.

Last year, Novosol had launched its cricket service MoCricket during the ICC World Cup 2011 by partnering on Airtel and Reliance Communications to deploy it on their networks. The company had also stated it intends to extend the service to six more Indian operators by early 2012. While the portal was accessible from any data enabled mobile phone back then, that doesn’t seem to be the case now (we tried it on an Vodafone network and the portal didn’t work, prompting us to contact the operator).

Features: The services can be accessed on mocricket.com for cricket, mofutbol.com for football and mosportz.com for other sports like Formula 1, Tennis and others. These WAP sites will offer various content including multi-media content, real-time sports updates, editorials, photo stories, videos, previews and predictions, live coverage and scores, results, analysis and reviews, latest news, gossip and inside stories. While users can follow the live coverage of the ongoing T20 matches on MoCricket, MoFutbol will feature developments from EPL, La liga, UEFA Champions League, and the upcoming Euro 2012 tournament and MoSportz will offer updates from Australian and Malaysian GP (Formula 1), Australian Open (Tennis) and the upcoming Olympics.

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Registration: Airtel users can subscribe to these services either by sending an SMS MOA to 54321(toll-free) or through USSD code  *321-*212#. Users will have to pay between Rs 1 to Rs 3 per day.

Similar Developments: In May 2009, Airtel had inked a five year deal with the football club Manchester United, allowing Airtel customers in India, Sri Lanka and Seychelles access content related to Manchester United on their mobiles.

In September 2010, Smile of India had partnered with the CommonWealth Games to become its Mobile Infortainment Partner and offer WAP, Mobile Applications, SMS, and 3G Services on a non-exclusive partnership basis. Before that, vRock had bagged exclusive mobile rights for the Asia Cup till 2014, to offer live score alerts through USSD, SMS, Live Video Streaming, Video Clips, IVR with English commentary from Nimbus Sports, Mobile Games, WAP, Mobile Internet. It had also partnered with Indian Premier League (IPL) for SMS, MMS and IVR mobile rights. Indiatimes* had tied up with PERFORM to offer online and mobile video content for English Premier League and inked a mobile content deal with Everton football club to offer mobile content related to the club in India.

* Disclosure: Indiatimes is an advertiser with MediaNama

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