Former India captains Kapil Dev and Sourav Ganguly said all stakeholders in sports are reaping the benefits of advancement in technology at the launch of the strategic multi-sports portal partnership between Star India and Vodafone. 'I am amazed actually; I never thought one would be able to see live cricket matches and other sports features on a mobile handset screen I wish these people were there at Tunbridgewells during the 1983 World Cup match. Well, maybe a day will come when we may have to just put on a pair of glasses and see sports events, ‘’said Kapil Dev in a jocular vein.
Sourav said that he has been fortunate to be part of the radio and television era and also quite happy with the mobile-technology developed to bring live matches, highlights, replays and other features across all sports. 'Well, Mahendra Singh Dhoni is at a disadvantage of not being able to play and see domestic matches. Now he can see the replays and highlights of all domestic highlights on Star India in order to see the first class players in action. I thought of going to Brazil to see the FIFA World Cup football, but I would be in Trent Bridge (India-England series) and hence would watch the World Cup matches on my mobile,’’ said Ganguly.
'About 100 million of the 160 million Vodafone customers have data enabled handsets. The launch of Vodafone sports (throughlive.vodafone.in/sports) is an industry first initiative to bring across the best of premium live and curated sports content blended with immersive interactive platforms. A large portion of the content would be free; most of the live matches will be charged,’’ said Vivek Mathur, Chief Commercial Officer, Vodafone India.
Sanjay Gupta, Chief Operating Officer, Star India said that viewership of cricket matches, especially when India is playing is in crores, while for EPL the numbers are in lakhs. 'Our ambition is to shape the future of entertainment on a mobile screen; sports is a first big initiative for us. We are committed to spend Rs. 20,000 crore on sports.’’
Available only to the Vodafone users (smartphone and feature phone) the portal will offer live and curated content across cricket, football, motorsports, hockey, tennis and golf, video score-card, free videos, news, photo galleries. Some content come with attractive price packs named: 'Snack’’ and 'All you can eat.’’