Technology

vRock Mobile bags IPL rights for SMS, MMS

MUMBAI: The Indian Premier League (IPL) and its licensing partner Global Cricket Ventures (GCV) have announced an agreement with vRock Mobile Communications, which has acquired the exclusive worldwide SMS, MMS and IVR rights for a period of five years.


vRock Mobile will have the rights to utilise CDMA, GSM, GPRS, MMS, WAP, EDGE, 3G and any other mobile or desktop technology, capable of sending or receiving SMS/MMS alerts, SMS/MMS contest/ activations and live audio commentary / IVR platform.


This partnership with vRock Mobile will help the IPL reach out to a huge global cross-section of its fans on a real time basis and engage them in various activities including score and match-day updates, mobile sms and mms contests, live audio mobile commentary, and regular alerts. All of which marks a new chapter in terms of convergence of IPL content onto the mobile phone and to an enhanced fan experience.
 
IPL chairman and commissioner Lalit Modi says, “The association with vRock Mobile is yet another effort to extend the IPL fan experience to a new and unique delivery platform. Convergence is the new age mantra, wherein mobile phones are set to play a critical role in delivering a unique fan experience and it is critical for the IPL to deliver on that platform. Through this association IPL fans anywhere in the world will now be able to access scores and information on matches, get LIVE commentary and participate in interactive programmes and contests – all from their very own mobile phone."


IPL will soon be announcing a partner for mobile video, Modi adds.


VRock Mobile Communications CEO Jatin Ahluwalia said, “The IPL is an excellent platform for vRock Mobile to offer some truly unique services to IPL fans around the world. We have planned some exciting and engaging SMS and MMS - based contests to build consumer engagement with youthful cricket loving audiences. We promise to deliver to Cricket and IPL fans the world over an exhilarating, enhanced and rich user experience on their mobile handsets.”


MMS will include things like best shot and best moment of the match. 
 
GCV director Vijay Srinivasan said, “The agreement announced today is another example of GCV’s commitment to delivering the IPL experience to cricket fans around the world through the use of multiple delivery platforms. This partnership will lead to a wide range of exciting and innovative services becoming accessible to millions of cricket fans, reaching out to new generations across the world. We believe that the way in which audiences follow sport is changing with more and more fans enthusiastic for real-time information and a more interactive role, and we are pleased to be at the forefront of these changes.”


vRock Mobile will provide fans with live score alerts (subscriptions & on-demand); SMS contests – including daily contests and through the IPL 2010 season, not to mention live in-stadia sms contests. Fans will also be able to experience live mobile commentary with contests over an interactive voice response (IVR) system using the latest mobile telephony technology. Lastly, fans will also be able to get the latest IPL news through SMS subscriptions and also get post-match party gossip, match statistics; and loads of MMS pictures, exciting content and much more.


Ahluwalia adds that for this year there will be no ads. The aim is to establish this service. Ad revenue will come in from next year. Cricket experts will be roped in for the commentary service. He also says that telecom service providers have to be educated that there are IPR issues in this domain. He also expects rates for SMS to fall.

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