The robust growth of fantasy sports online platforms in India over the past decade has significantly impacted the way the sports industry is functioning today. In fantasy sports, a player’s performance is dependent entirely on one’s knowledge and awareness regarding sports. Fantasy sports have proved themselves to be an engaging method of experiencing live sports, explaining the exponential rise in the past few years.
In India, sports viewers have been large consumers but also passive in the past, still a higher propensity to participate and engage in fantasy actively. Sports events have augmented their viewing experience recently. A study by Millard Brown indicates that around 60% of sports fans watch or follow more sports if they are engaged in fantasy sports.
The rise of internet penetration in India with the growth of social media platforms has, moreover, provided a complimentary infrastructure for the development of sports, popularity, and the evolution of fans from passive viewers to active and engaging participants, in return giving a viable environment for fantasy sports platforms to flourish.
Social media, fantasy sports, and sports content platforms have become hotspots to create a community wherein fans discuss their favorite sports in depth, their top choices ahead of a particular match, and engage with other sports fans, including celebrities and sports persons themselves.
By 2020, India has achieved a penetration of smartphones by 42%, along with the cost of mobile data significantly lower than the average global Internet cost per GB. Due to the presence of low-cost, high-speed Internet, an ideal environment for fantasy sports platforms has been made for achieving success and for users to have quick access to their favorite media.
Fantasy cricket users can also update themselves with sports news, scores, records, and expert analysis, anywhere and anytime, thus increasing their engagement with their favorite sports and fantasy sports platforms. The rise of OTT platforms has also resulted in convenience for fantasy sports users as they can livestream their favorite sports on the go and access their fantasy sports platforms all on a single device.
In recent years, fantasy sports platforms have gained the confidence to expand their horizons and participate in the supporting ecosystem, as several court rulings have outrightly stated that the outcome in fantasy sports is completely dependent on the skill and knowledge of the participant. With legal clarity on the dominance of skill and knowledge in regards to fantasy sports platforms have led fantasy sports companies to set up ties with sports leagues, tournaments, sports associations, and sportspersons. We have been noticing a significant rise in fantasy sports users and experts, providing tips and other videos to further add to the engagement of fans while watching a sport and creating their favorite fantasy sports teams.
With the ruling success of IPL, spanning multiple leagues across the globe, and fantasy sports, players have a bundle of opportunities to participate in fantasy sports contests all year long. Cricket, today, still accounts for around 80% of the total market value of fantasy sports platforms.