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New tensports.com sees spike in viewership

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MUMBAI: Launched in June last year, Star India?s digital sports offering - starsports.com - has since created a lot of traction among sports enthusiasts in the country. And the same can be said for Ten Sports? website - tensports.com - that was re-launched not too long ago on 27 March and has since witnessed a spike in viewership.

?A lot of research, thought and hard work has gone into the re-launch of tensports.com; we are aware of the opportunities in the digital space and want to really cash in on it,? reveals Ten Sports CEO Rajesh Sethi. ?We are very focussed on getting the best coverage and updates to sports fans through tensports.com and going forward, we will only get deeper into the space.?

To its credit, the revisited site is a definite improvement over its predecessor with various well-placed sections that are easy to navigate. Apart from separate tabs for sports like cricket, football, tennis, golf and WWE, a section has been demarcated for blogs, videos and the TV guide.

?Not many know this fact, but the TV guide is something which receives the most visits during the day. It serves as the destination for all sports fans to keep track of various events or matches that are scheduled for the day,? says Sethi.

It was after more than five months of beta testing that the overhauled site went live on 27 March. As of now, content generated is both in-house and from blogs but going forward; the plan is to have more in-house content.

?The digital, content and marketing teams all got together to really push for the re-launch and I am really pleased with the results,? says Sethi. ?We also want to create a lot of social traction and thus, have aligned our social media on the portal as well, and are confident that we will only grow from strength to strength.?

Since going live, tensports.com has witnessed an increase in viewership. To delve into numbers, the portal gets about 1.6 million visitors per month, of which, 0.7 million are unique visitors. Breaking this down further, 0.42 million come from mobile and 0.28 million come from desktops. The new site has been designed to be very responsive and can easily adapt to various screens including desktops, mobiles, tablets etc.

?This move has encouraged consumption on multiple screens and it reflects in our viewership as well. After the re-launch, the bounce rate on mobiles has reduced by 11 per cent and that of desktops by 27 per cent,? says Sethi, adding, ?Social media is a very important tool for us, and we will leverage the platform to drive our fans to the website.? For the record, tensports.com has over 2.5 million likes on Facebook and 73,100 followers on Twitter.

Plans are afoot to hold Google Hangout sessions with sports fans to keep up the engagement levels. Significantly, the Ten Sports? sports calendar is a healthy mix of various sports, with big-ticket events like the Hockey World Cup, Asian Games and Commonwealth Games; it could be slated to be streamed live on the website along with being telecast on the channel.

?We are yet to try out live beaming of an event, but I am confident of our ability to bring high quality video content to the fans with such important events coming up,? says Sethi. Asked about the business model, he does not reveal much except that the site plans on adopting a mix of ad and subscription revenues.

With competition among sports broadcasters hotting up, viewers can only expect bigger and better sports entertainment lined up for them.

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