Star India is trying head to toe to become the premium sports entity when it comes to India. The collaboration with ESPN for broadcasting English Premier League and other sports has worked wonders for their presence over the years. Now, Star also brings you an online portal for Sports called StarSports.com. With more than 100 Crore invested by the company in launching the Video Portal and buying exclusive rights to Indian Cricket for more than 3,000 Crores, Star India is pretty serious about taking the whole Television experience for the consumers to their desktops and mobile as well.
The site was launched with the ongoing India v/s Pakistan series in mind. Quite a suitable time to launch a product in beta phase having the user anticipation and enthusiasm of an India v/s Pakistan Cricket Match in place. The brand was also looking to offer its initial presence on Social Media running Logout screen ads on Facebook.
Social Media Presence:
The Facebook page launched in early December boasts of great engaging content and hence sees a lot of user activity around. The Engagement Rate on Facebook (PTAT/Fans) is a more than healthy 40%. The launch around the India v/s Pakistan series and posts revolving around the same has sparked up user activity to a great extent. The conversations peaked around the first two T20 Matches with the maximum engagement happening around and post the matches. (The below screen grab highlights the daily post engagement )
The Twitter account @StarSportsIndia has also garnered more than 1.4K Followers in no time. What’s good too see is that the account is not only posting regular score updates but also replying to people tweeting while watching the game.
The website is still in beta phase and is free for all as of now. Star India is planning to charge users on subscription basis once they have a decent traffic on these sites. The design is optimum and great without experiencing any major technical hiccups. The streaming videos don’t jam out or buffer much while playing hence making sure of an uninterrupted user experience. The previous venture by ESPN and Star has come to an end and when you try and go to espnstar.com, you will be automatically redirected to the starsports.com site. However, other sports than cricket can still be seen on espnstar.com.
Users can watch the whole highlights of the match or only choose to watch the important parts (Fall of Wickets, Sixes etc) when they are not live streaming on Video Hub. The videos also have a text commentary embedded into it if you are missing Siddhuisms on the go. For stat geeks, the website will tell you all the minute details about players individually and head to head against each other which builds up the whole atmosphere. The Video Timeline is the best addition to the streaming experience which I found interesting which gives you a free movement control over the streaming of the game and lets you not miss the important junctions in the game. So you can revisit your favorite moment of the match and jump back to the real time action quickly.
Any sports game demands immediacy and people love to catch a thrilling game live rather than watch its highlights on TV. However, the paid subscription model is not something popularized in India yet and Star India have to come up with something unique to attract more customers in to it.The same can be adapted for other sports like Football and Hockey as well. I for one, would love to live stream all the BPL matches in this format with all the exciting goals and red cards in a similar fashion.
The website once popular could also try and go the ‘Android’ way letting users live stream through their Android applications to catch the action while travelling as well with an improved mobile UI. With the growing popularity of 3G in India, I think it might be a good move.
How did you find the site? Do let me know your thoughts.