Digital media a game changer for sports broadcasting in India: Vijay Goel

Digital media broadcasting will play a critical role in bringing about change in sports broadcasting in India. This was stated by Vijay Goel, Minister of State (I/C) for Youth Affairs and Sports, while addressing the Big Picture Summit 2016 in Delhi on October 26, 2016. Goel added that increasing penetration of internet, mobile devices and cheaper data services, especially in rural areas, would prove game changer in this direction. He called on broadcasters to focus on how sports are delivered to these audiences.

The Minister pointed out that data suggested that more than 60 per cent of the digital audiences in India were 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 stressed on the need for brands and advertisers to come forward and recognise the power of sports delivered to young India with respect to both – a Return on Investment and Corporate Social Responsibility aspect.

Goel reiterated that the Government was 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 added that it was his belief that broadcasters focussing on innovative ways to reach out to the youth would be the real game changers and would create a far greater impact on the overall business of sports in India.

The Minister further said that packaging of the Sports League as entertainment had been a game changer. This clearly reflects in more than 450 million viewers of the Indian Super League. The most interesting revelation has been the Pro Kabaddi League, which has garnered a viewership of more than 500 million.

“What is even more interesting to note is that some of these Leagues have more than 40 per cent female viewers on television,” Goel said, adding, “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 recognise that without a talent pool of sportspersons, this will be tough to sustain.”

He concluded by affirming 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.



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