Prasana’s interview with ET on 4-year deal with Cricket West Indies

April 6, 2021

FanCode picks up media rights of West Indies cricket board

Dream Sports-owned FanCode has acquired the media rights – broadcast and streaming – of Cricket West Indies (CWI) for the next four years (till 2024) for India.

The deal will make FanCode the official fan destination in India for West Indies cricket, which will include 150 international and 250 domestic cricket matches from the Caribbean.

There will be 16 International teams’ tours to West Indies, Super50 Cup matches, West Indies Women’s Home Series and Under-19 International Cricket matches.

During the rights’ tenure, major cricket powerhouses such as India, Australia, England, South Africa and New Zealand as well as Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Ireland and Zimbabwe are scheduled to visit the West Indies.

FanCode will also get exclusive rights of India’s next tour to West Indies in July 2022 , wherein the men in blue will play three one day internationals and three T20 matches.

“We have been building a lower tier sports portfolio in the past, including those which don’t make sense for the broadcasters as the audience base is too low. However, with West Indies, we will not just have a good supply of cricket, but also one confirmed India tour,” said Prasana Krishnan, co-founder of FanCode.

He added that the India tour will be a great opportunity for the platform to use as a customer acquisition tool.

“Ultimately, it’s a growth hack. It gives impetus to a lot of new audiences to come to the platform,” he added.

Prior to FanCode, Sony Pictures Networks had the rights of Cricket West Indies for the last seven years. However, it was a global deal and Sony used to syndicate rights to other territories.

When asked if FanCode will look for a telecast partner for the India cricket, Krishnan added that the decision will be taken later on. “In any way we will have to share the India games with DoorDarshan. So whether to bring in a TV partner or not is something we will decide later,” he said.

FanCode is building a sports platform ecosystem with lower tier live sports, commerce (merchandise) and sports related news. Last month, FanCode’s holding company Dream Sports, which also operates India’s leading fantasy sports platform Dream11, had completed a $400 million secondary investment round.

Besides live streaming of the matches, FanCode will also create sports content for deeper fan engagement by bringing to fans behind the scenes footage, player stories, features around the legacy and traditions of Caribbean cricket and more.

“India is one of our close allies in the cricket world and a key player in the global sporting landscape so this new agreement will enhance our presence there and also bring millions of fans closer to our team and to the magnificence of West Indies cricket,” said Ricky Skerritt, president, Cricket West Indies.

Johnny Grave, CEO, Cricket West Indies added that West Indies cricket remains immensely popular all around the world and many Indian fans see them as their second favourite team. “They have always followed West Indies teams and players and this partnership will provide great access to bring them even closer. It is very important for the West Indies to access the significant cricket-loving passionate audience in India. We are excited and eager to work with FanCode and their innovative, digital-first broadcast platform.”

FanCode will offer ‘Match Pass’ for match-wise access to the tournament or ‘Tour Pass’ to access the entire tournament, in addition to the Annual Pass subscription option.