Television

Star's portal indya.com partners with ICC

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MUMBAI: In a bid to create greater visibility, Star's portal indya.com has tied up with the International Cricket Council (ICC). Indya.com will be the internet partner for both the Champions Trophy that kicks off next month in India and for next year's World Cup in the West Indies.

Indya.com has developed and will maintain the site www.iccchampionstrophy.com.

The site will allow net users in India and globally access to audio and video packages. There are country specific packages will allow internet subscribers to buy a match pack. This will give them live clips of ongoing games, deferred live highlight packages and archives of previous editions of the Champions Trophy. For Indians though there is no subscription fee.

The site will have a feature called Matchcast. This allows viewers to watch live scores, ball-by-ball updates, player profiles, team profiles etc. The other contenders for ICC web partner were cricinfo.com and Yahoo! Star CEO Sameer Nair noted that Star's parent News Corp is getting increasingly active in the internet arena. A case in point is the leading community social networking site Myspace. News Corp through Global Cricket Corporation (GCC) has worked closely with the ICC. The site he said can among other things provide an alternative to viewers in those countries who find cricket too expensive to buy on television or in regions that do not have access. The site he says allows indya.com to continue its goal of providing superior and distinctive content.

One interactive feature that the site will have is called Voice Of The World Cup. The contest requires participants to provide commentary to a piece of archived footage which has had its commentary removed.

The winners will be judged by a public poll as well as by experts. Two winners will get to go the West Indies for the World Cup. They will get the chance to officially commentate for the site. The site will also have daily contests when the Champions Trophy is on. There will also be a fantasy based game.

Nair says that indya.com gets around 40 million page views a month. He expects this to at least treble when the champions Trophy is going on. For the World Cup the figure will be much more. When asked about sponsors for the site he said that indya.com is negotiating with certain parties. He said that indya.com is looking to learn from what Myspace and News Corp's other net properties are doing. He noted that at the moment lack of bandwith is hampering the growth of broadband in India at the moment.

ICC CEO Malcolm Speed noted that the net is an important communication tool that is growing. As it is a source of information to millions of people globally partnering with indua.com gives the ICC the chance to provide high quality coverage of the Champions Trophy through another medium.

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