The suspension of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 could hinder the growth of online fantasy sports in the country. The Board of Cricket Council in India (BCCI) had to indefinitely postpone the tournament series as many players and many staff members tested positive for COVID-19.
Trouble started when two players, Varun Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrier tested positive. Eventually, the number of players testing positive for COVID-19 just kept increasing. The players tested positive despite being kept in a bio-bubble. Sourav Ganguly led-BCCI had to unanimously call for an emergency meeting and postpone the IPL 2021 series with no alternative before them.
With this suspension, industry experts foresee that the fantasy sports sector will have a difficult time. While talking about the IPL being postponed, Prashanth Joshua Mandapalli, CEO of Mobius said, “The suspension of IPL will surely send shock waves across the fantasy sports industry since this is the biggest event.”
According to Mandapalli, there could be an 80% dip in revenues for the fantasy sports platforms since the IPL has been suspended.
Adding to this, Roland Landers, CEO, All India Gaming Federation (AIGF) said, “The suspension of IPL 2021 will massively affect the top-line revenues of fantasy sports platforms since IPL is the most lucrative and valued sports in the world. Most major brands associate with it to reach their target audiences and drive engagement.
Another fantasy sports platform, My11Circle, had launched a new campaign called the ‘₹1 to ₹1 crore’ campaign, which allowed players to enter the contest by paying a minimal fee of INR 1 and the most-skilled player would win a whopping INR 1 crore every day during the tournament.
Talking about the responses from the audience for the campaign, Saroj Panigrahi, Vice President of My11Circle said that pre-IPL to IPL 2021, they saw over 500 percent growth in player engagement as people are frantically looking for in-house entertainment during the pandemic. He further said, “IPL 2021 suspension will surely have a short-term effect on the business as other sports will have to be relied upon as a backup plan to minimize damage.”
Manthra Koliyer is a writer at Gutshot Magazine. She has an affinity for seeing the world through people’s eyes. With a bubbly fun personality, you can always catch her chatting with anyone she comes across. Holding an English Literature degree from Wilson College, Mumbai, this pop culture fanatic is ready to take on the world with a pen, paper, and microphone. She also actively works on her personal blog called namasteyconvict.blogspot.com, where for a moment she lets you into her drama-filled world.
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