ESports startup NODWIN Gaming has tied up with Star Sports Network to live telecast the Battlegrounds Mobile India Masters Series for the first time on Indian television. The tournament will be aired during prime time from 24 June to 17 July.
“There have been deferred broadcasts of eSports tournaments from the US on television channels, but this is the first time an Indian eSports tournament is being broadcast live on television,” said Akshat Rathee, co-founder and managing director, NODWIN Gaming.
In India, linear TV is the traditional mode for viewers to catch the action when a programme is aired at a scheduled time on a particular channel, while telecast of eSports is typically streamed via digital platforms such as Hotstar and YouTube.
“Our aspiration is to change the behaviour of advertisers, big brands and parents, who feel very proud of the fact that their kids are now on national television. There is a value to being on Star Sports rather than on YouTube,” he added.
On an average, viewership for the mega e-Sports tournament on digital platforms is 300,000 to 1 million concurrently, which translates into a per match viewership of 5-7 million, said Rathee.
He is not expecting the digital audience to watch the tournament on TV. “We are expecting to add new viewers,” Rathee added.
The startup is reaching out to viewers in tier 2 and tier 3 cities. That’s why the first two languages for the live broadcast are Hindi and Tamil. English is the third language, Rathee explains.
Sanjog Gupta, head, Sports, Disney Star points out, eSports in India is a fast-growing segment and has seen quick adoption in last two years.
“Star Sports is always looking for opportunities to engage fans, galvanise communities and recruit new audiences. Our partnership with NODWIN Gaming seeks to shape the future of eSports in India by introducing high quality competition and prominent players to millions of TV viewers around the country,” Gupta added.
NODWIN Gaming is expected to announce the digital streaming partners for the BGMI Masters Series next week.
Founded in 2015 and acquired by Nazara Technologies in 2018, NODWIN Gaming is one of the leading eSports companies in South Asia.
The overall eSports industry in India is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 46% from ₹250 crore in 2021 to ₹1,100 crore by 2025, according to a June 2021 report by EY. Live Mint