International Finance

India’s major telecom companies focus on sports content to boost data

Telecom, IPL, India, Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio, Eros, Balaji, Sony Music, Vodafone, 4G operator, Amazon Prime, Netflix, Analysys Mason, sports fans, cricket lovers
Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio Infocomm and Vodafone are focused on drawing cricket fans to their respective networks in an effort to drive revenue

The Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket series has granted an ideal scenario for telcos seek attention of 700mn watchers. Sandip Das, a senior advisor at a consulting and research firm Analysys Mason, said “Telcos will see an increase of at least 25%-30% in their data revenue because of the IPL season and this may translate to a 10%-15% uptick in ARPU for some time.”

The telecom sector in India is expanding from a network service to a data-driven support after the entry of 4G operator Reliance Jio. Jio had 168mn broadband subscribers by the end of January, Airtel had 75mn and Vodafone had 55mn, reported Economic Times.

Being in a heavily competitive industry, receiving more subscribers based on content programming is a challenge. CEO of Content and Apps, Bharti Airtel, Sameer Batra said: “The ecosystem has now become more conducive to content and these offers will be a great differentiator.”

“If we are able to lock in consumers via digital services, the propensity to stay on is very high and will also help get customers get onto 4G.”

In addition to sports, telecom operators are looking at other forms of content to retain existing users and attract new ones. Airtel offers free Amazon Prime subscriptions to users who are willing to recharge above a specified limit, Vodafone India offers free Netflix membership and Idea Cellular has signed content partnership with other providers such as Eros, Balaji and Sony Music.

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