How India’s online fantasy sports brands are faring in the wake of IPL 14 suspension

Published on:

The first quarter of FY21 was quite a dampner for India’s online sports fantasy operators with several sporting events being postponed. But the comeback of live sports in 2021 has helped in propelling online fantasy sports platforms, despite the suspension of the 14th Indian Premier League (IPL). IPL, now a sporting juggernaut, accounts for 30-40% of revenue for fantasy sports platforms in general and has turned out to be a great medium for deep engagement.

Supreme Court adjourns hearing on Dream11 legality by 2 weeks

With such heavy reliance on the cash-rich tournament, one wonders what the impact of its suspension has meant for India’s top fantasy sports brands.

Vinit Godara, co-founder of MyTeam11, in an interview with Moneycontrol said, “Though a sudden halt to the IPL did lead to a dip in the number of users for us in May, we have to remember that the sport of cricket didn’t see a stoppage. And June brought in the resumption of international cricket with the New Zealand tour of England, the World Test Championship Final, the Pakistan Super League, Indian Women’s tour of England and many more across the globe. So as long as cricket is there, fans in India keep on engaging with the OFS platforms,” 

The platform, according to Godara, is witnessing steady engagement with around 18 million users.

Fantasy sports operator Fantasy Akhada in talks to raise $5 million in Series A funding

Fantasy sports operators are of the opinion that IPL, being a seasonal affair, doesn’t help in generating revenues throughout the year. Hence, they have to rely on other means and ways to keep users hooked on to their platform for remainder of the year.

Platforms such as PlayerzPot, with 2 million monthly active users, has managed to retain growth with other events of cricket and football.

CEO of PlayersPot Sunil Yadav said, “We are seeing an uptick in the adoption of various lesser known tournaments and sports. We saw good engagement in the Euro Cup and PSL (Pakistan Super League) which helped us in (user) retention.” 

Subsequently, Blitzpools also saw huge traction from football users after IPL was suspended. It is known that Blitzpools rebranded itself ahead of IPL 14. Founder Vickram Assomull claims that his platform witnessed a 300% in football users and that has been a key reason why he and his team has focused on football fans in the aftermath of the IPL suspension.

Relief for fantasy Sports as remainder of IPL 2021 matches scheduled for September-October

The CEO of All India Gaming Federation (AIGF) Roland Landers came forth to claim that “the India tour of Sri Lanka this month will come up as a booster for fantasy gaming players as their favorite IPL players will be in action in blue. Then India’s tour of England for a five-match test series starting from August till September will keep the fantasy players busy. Additionally, the English Premier League and other European football leagues like the La Liga, Serie A will commence from August onwards and are expected to lead to an increased user engagement.”