Digital media broadcasting will play a critical role in bringing about change in sports broadcasting in India, according to Vijay Goel, Union Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports.
Addressing the Big Picture Summit 2016 in New Delhi this week, he said increasing penetration of internet, mobile devices and cheaper data services especially in rural areas will prove game changer in this direction. He said broadcasters must focus on how sports are delivered to these audiences.
Goel said data suggests that more than 60% of the Digital Audiences in India are within the age group of 13-35 years. This is the base that sports needs to capture to build up the overall business of sports. He said there is a need for brands and advertisers to come forward and recognize the power of sports delivered to young India with respect to both Return on Investment and Corporate Social Responsibility aspects.
The Minister said the Government is committed to work towards building up a culture of sports and improving the business of sports. All stakeholders must work towards this common objective. He said it is his belief that Broadcasters focused on innovative ways to reach out to youth would be the real game-changers and will create a far greater impact on the overall business of Sports in India.
Outlining the importance of sports, Goel said, it is evident that more and more people are taking up sports. Sports in India has already taken its first step in the right direction in the last 3 years. A majority of Sports Leagues have been launched including Football, Kabaddi, Wrestling, Hockey, Tennis, Badminton and more. He said, this has been made possible by persistent efforts by various stakeholders. A large talent pool in sports such as Football, Kabaddi, Hockey, etc. has mass appeal. This has not only impacted Sports as entertainment but also the Tourism and Infrastructure sectors.
The Minister said, packaging of the Sports League as Entertainment has been the game changer. This clearly reflects in more than 450 million viewers of Indian Super League. The most interesting revelation has been Pro Kabaddi League with a viewership of more than 500 million.
He said, what is even more interesting to note is, that some of these leagues have more than 40% female viewers on television. Innovative media campaigns around new sports have been the force behind the increasing Sponsorship Revenues. All Media platforms including TV, Radio, Print, Digital and off Air have played a crucial role in the success of the newer leagues. Advertisers and Investors must recognize that without a talent pool of sportspersons, this will be tough to sustain.
Goel added that sports must become an integral part of our society and value system as it has the power to shape India as one of the most competitive nations in the world.