A considerable time after it sent out request for proposals, BCCI.TV, the Indian cricket body’s new official website is finally out. The site is neat, fresh and ordinary and hasn’t broken any path in its effort to bring Indian cricket online (officially at least). So you find a scorecard of India’s last international match, overview of domestic tourneys, news, and perhaps the most interesting part the archives (subjective).
The site is built and managed by Global Cricket Ventures which itself is a joint venture by Netbluelinks Holdings and Live Current who own properties like cricket.com. They had pumped in close to $50 million when for IPLT20.com and BCCI.TV was in fact part of the same deal which would continue for the next 10 years. GCV had essentially bought exclusive rights to content including video, photos, live scoreboards, match results stats, etc. for the sum, which had ultimately led to the media-BCCI embargio just before the IPL in April.
The only interesting and perhaps ‘exclusive’ content would be the featured video and archives section that perhaps would be difficult to find elsewhere.
The impact of this news ideally wouldn’t be much. The important aspect to look out for would be BCCI’s monetization strategy of the website. It currently has Adsense’s contextual ads, so there are possibilties for sure that they might pursue sponsorship opportunities with advertisers on the site. Now, having not covered Indian cricket’s online escapades widely before I am handicapped by lack of information here. However, it is seeminlgy obvious that there will be a revenue share between GCV and BCCI on the monetization of the site, and perhaps the reason the cash rich board is even pursuing monetization is so that GCV can make some money.
Earlier, we had reported that ticket sales online on BCCI.TV was ehavily promoted on TV only to be forwarded to Kyazoonga. It would be interesting to see how such partnership would be powered online. Especially if say someone like a Bookmyshow decides to offer cricket ticket’s powered by BCCI’s site and how this would affect the commercials. Online streaming of matches would perhaps be the most interesting piece of action on the site if they do happen. For it officially cuts down the need of any broadcasting middleman, at least on the face of things.
Monetising popular archives through the featured video, and the archives section would be interesting. For one, they can be less in demand compared to the millions of viewership they can expect for other exclusive content, however, given the cricket craze, it can also sell at a premium to hardened connoisseur of the game. I for one simply love the fact that I can watch the classics at my conveneince online.
What’s sorely lacking is any social features on the website. Though this is primarily a personal opinion, I genuinely feel both GCV with their tremendous online experience and BCCI with their monster archive of content missed out on a window of opportunity to push the content aggressively by not having any social media feature. The level of engagement that cricket can bring online would be hard to match by anyone. Just imagine a BCCI blog with ex-players and current contributing an article a week (even ghost written), the traction would have been enoromous.
Anyway, with the highly anticipated India Australia series on the anvil, which the site tells me very kindly is only 10 days away, we would perhaps see the site geared up to its fullest potential, and a proper judgment of the site can be done.