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2 out of 3 Online Cricket Fans Aware of Fantasy Sports in India

The gap between 67% awareness and 10% adoption highlights the huge growth potential of this industry: IFSG-AC Nielsen report

The report by the Indian Federation of Sports Gaming (IFSG) and Nielsen the highlights that a staggering 2 out of 3 (67 percent) online cricket fans in India are aware of fantasy sports gaming. The report also highlights the changing nature of sports consumption with third screen interactivity showing a marked rise, both in metros and non-metros. The advent of fantasy sports has converted a passive sports viewer into an active fan. This report was commissioned by IFSG to understand awareness levels, market size, user profile, consumption pattern and how fantasy sports augments real sports consumption.

The IFSG - AC Nielsen report ‘Scoring Big with Sports Gaming’ is India’s first ever report on the growth of fantasy sports gaming in India.

Today, Indian sports fans enjoy a truly immersive and engaging viewing experience thanks to the convergence of sports and technology. With the advent of affordable smartphones and high-speed internet access, there has never been a better time to be a sports fan in India. Fantasy sports has been the perfect catalyst in helping casual sports fans engage more with the sport they love and become core sports fans.

Harsh Jain, chairman of IFSG and, cofounder-CEO of Dream11 said, “Over the past decade, fantasy sports has been at the helm of evolving the Indian sports fans’ experience by giving them the perfect platform to showcase their sports knowledge and skill. 70 crore Indian passive sports viewers now have the opportunity to become active participants in every single match. Fantasy sports is the start of a revolution that will change the face of the sports industry forever.”

2700 males aged between 18-35 years took part in the survey across 12 cities in India. The findings also reveal almost all major sports leagues in the world are using fantasy sports as their primary tool of fan engagement. The CPL, ISL and NBA have all forged official partnerships with Dream11 to offer fantasy cricket, football and basketball. Further, EPL, IPL and PKL run their own fantasy sports games to keep their fans engaged.

In India, fantasy sports is widely played across cricket, football, kabaddi and basketball. Fantasy sports is the new language of sports, and has the potential to change the way Indian sports fans traditionally consumed sports.

Highlighting the growing interest in fantasy gaming, Ashish Karnad, executive director, Nielsen India said, “Fantasy sports is an emerging phenomenon in Urban India – which gives sports fans an opportunity to use their knowledge, skill and understanding of the sport and players to win in online versions of actual on-ground games. Among sports enthusiasts, 2 out of 3 people are aware of fantasy sports.”

The report further shows that fantasy sports is highly sticky – 89 percent of the users play fantasy sports at least once a month. Out of the users who have ever played fantasy sports, 96 percent of them have played it at least once in the past one year and 89 percent of them played it in the last one month. The offering is highly sticky and engaging in nature. India is fast becoming the battlefield of fantasy sports operators. Fantasy sports in India now has about 60 fantasy sports gaming operators, up from 30 operators in 2017. Among all these operators, Dream11 has around 90 percent market share followed by MyTeam11 and HalaPlay.

India is rapidly catching up with western countries. Fantasy sports has been played in the USA since the 1950s. In USA and Canada alone, there are 59.3 million fantasy sports users, while India is home to two crore fantasy sports users, growing from just 20 lakh in 2016.

Fantasy Sports users are independent, married, well-educated, working professionals with a disposable income. The affluent section of consumers displays the highest awareness of fantasy sports by far. 51 percent of the users are graduates and 84 percent of the users are working professionals. Fantasy sports users are typically married men with higher incomes. 72 percent of the fantasy sports users are aged 25 to 35; 28 percent are males aged between 18 and 24 years.

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