This season it is not just the IPL teams that are trying to win something. Another battle is being fought by companies – smartphone manufacturers, service providers and telecom companies alike – to push value-added services related to the tournament to all corners.
The first to make the move was Blackberry. The Canadian smartphone company promptly had an exclusive tie-up for its mobile messaging service BBM with Mumbai Indians. The company is offering an exclusive BBM Channel for the team and is streaming matches there. BlackBerry has also announced contests on the channel which will allow winners to watch the team practice.
Mobile operator Aircel, which sponsors IPL team Chennai Super Kings, has introduced offers for the team’s fans. One of these is the “High Flyer” contest which offers a chance to travel with the team, besides match tickets and opportunity to stay in the same hotel as the team. Besides, it is also offering a pre-paid plan “IPL Special Recharge” for Rs 37 which adds extra minutes to your account whenever Mahendra Singh Dhoni scores more than 37 runs.
The rise in the number of smartphone users has increased consumption on mobile devices. It is slowly becoming a major source for watching live TV too. Besides mobile service providers, Star Sports is offering a streaming service on mobile devices, which works even on 2G connections. It has tied up with telecom operators to enable operator-side billing for viewing matches. It’s just another way telecom companies are trying to boost revenue, in the light of falling SMS and voice revenue. Aircel’s also bringing live streaming to its customers with the Aircel nextGTv app on Android and iOS. It has tied-up with Digivive for the live streaming of matches, which is also available for feature phones.
Paytm, a mobile commerce platform, is offering IPL merchandise on its mobile marketplace. It is also offering some of its customers an opportunity to chat with cricketers, Dinesh Karthik and Gautam Gambhir. The site is also running a cashback offer of up to 200 percent on bill payments and mobile recharge.