Choose commentator, trawl data feeds: How this app brings you sport with personal touch, live

July 28, 2022

New Delhi: In a bid to become India’s ‘only sports OTT platform’, Dream Sports’ FanCode app has expanded into a larger sports tech company where users can watch match telecasts, listen to a commentator of their choice and access interactive on-screen match data and analysis with just a few taps.

Giving more control over the viewing experience to a fan consuming live sports at home on his/her digital device seems to be a global trend and FanCode is getting onboard by introducing aspects of artificial intelligence (AI) and advanced technology in sports broadcasting in India.

“Although we aggregate content, our main aim is to stay laser-focused on the user and customise the experience for her or him. Accelerating penetration and the depth of digital gave us an opportunity to unlock the power of digital in democratising sports and creating a great experience for fans following their favourite sport,” FanCode co-founder Yannick Colaco told ThePrint. 

The former head coach of the Indian national cricket team, Ravi Shastri, is the brand ambassador of the platform, which also has sports celebrities, such as anchor Suhail Chandhok, and former cricketers Ajit Agarkar, Murali Kartik and Mohammad Kaif, among others, commentating for it, as well as promoting the platform.

“As the users’ behaviour and trends are evolving, so are the fan engagement platforms in India,” said Kazim Rizvi, founding director of The Dialogue, a policy think tank.

“While traditionally, only television was the source [for sports viewing], apps these days with their innovative models ensure users can view live scores, merchandise, matches, and choose commentators, to name a few, on a single platform. This trend is emerging into the next wave of sporting revolution in India where consumers are front and centre.”

FanCode was established in 2019. At the time, it provided only live streaming and live scores options. It has since garnered over 5 crore users across devices and boasts of more than 2.5 crore app installations, shows data shared by FanCode.

In April 2021, it became India’s only digital platform to sign a deal with Cricket West Indies, the governing body for the sport in the Caribbean countries, for exclusive broadcast rights until 2024. Therefore, the ongoing series with India can only be watched on the FanCode app on different devices in the country and its TV partner, DD sports.

To be sure, sport apps have been around for a while. Among the sports apps introduced in the early 2000s is, a Berlin-based company focused only on football games. They have a model similar to that of FanCode — of providing fans with “more freedom”. However, their focus is more on live streaming and highlights.

Apps like IPL 2022, ESPN, Cricket Exchange and UFC, borrow statistics and content from news organisations and couple these with some interactive approaches where fans get rewarded for choosing certain features on the portals.