DTH

Indya.com gears up for cricket World Cup

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MUMBAI: Played with passion! Followed with obsession!

With the cricket World Cup scheduled to kick off in less than a month's time indya.com, which is running the official website www.cricketworldcup.com as the International Cricket Council's (ICC) web partner, is starting to make a push.

The site officially launches on Monday, 26 February.

Information available with indiantelevision.com indicates that one presenting sponsor and four associate sponsors have been signed up so far for this year's highlight cricket event.

It was last year that Star inked a deal with the ICC to run its sites for the Champions Trophy and next month's World Cup. Indya.com business head Sumant Kasliwal claims that its Champions Trophy site got three million unique users. In total there were over a billion hits, a lot of which, not surprisingly came from India. One million downloads took place and there were 100,000 registered users.

For the Champions Trophy the site got 230 million page views. Kasliwal says that for the World Cup the site is expecting a billion page views during the event. "Our application Matchcast (which is a scorecard) has been expanded upon. It will be interactive. The aim is to give the consumer a complete experience. One can get match highlights, fall of wickets package, interactive contests. There will be live chat during the game. Users can comment on the state of the game. Our video content will include highlights from the previous World Cups. Other sites (as per the ICC diktat) are not allowed to show cricket videos."

Kasliwal also mentions another application - the Simulator. The visitor can view a graphical representation of what is happening ball by ball. He says that from a technological point of view it is a challenge. For each over two dozen parameters are taken into account. The recording takes place on the fly.

There will also be expert analysis of each match. Prominent names are in the process of getting signed up. There will also be interviews with players and the captains. For the captains there is a section Captainspeak. Kasliwal says that it is in the process of tying up with speakers.

It is also doing an interactive Voice Of the World Cup initiative. The contest kicks off next month. Here a clip of India's match versus Pakistan in the previous World Cup is featured. Sachin basically hammers Shoaib. One can visit the section and provide a commentary recording. The winner who will be chosen by the public and a team of experts gets to do commentary for the semi finals and the final for the site.

The site will also have a picture gallery courtesy gettyimages. For fun one can participate in games. One game that will shortly be launched is called Pick The Score. This is a prediction game and one has to guess scores. There will also be a fantasy game. Here one chooses a dream team for each match and one scores depending on how well the individual players are faring.

The site will also have quizzes, an ICC contests suite. There will also be pages dedicated to teams and players, merchandise that can be ordered. In some countries like New Zealand, Hong Kong, Korea, Germany, France the site will offer for a fee live streaming of matches. In India highlights and the other earlier mentioned features will be given for free.

GroupM COO South Asia Vikram Sakuja says that at first the agency was not sure how the product would turn out. However he is happy that for the Champions Trophy the site got a quarter of a billion page views. "I am glad that GroupM saw this potential and got some of our brands like Lufthansa to work with this exciting media offering."

 

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