Picture this scene – there’s a little transistor placed on a table and surrounded by quite a few people trying to hear every word of the ongoing cricket commentary, or there’s a small black and white TV in a room that is filled with the entire neighborhood with everyone’s eyes glued to the cricketing action playing out on the screen. If you are someone born in this millennium, you might find it hard to imagine this, but there was a time when this was actually the way the gentlemen’s game was consumed in India.
Although the passion for the game remains the same, the way Cricket is consumed in India has seen a drastic change – from meticulously adjusting the transistor frequency to get an audible commentary to now having the option to hear it in more than ten different regional languages, from frequent runs to your rooftop to adjust the TV antenna to now having the option to watch the same feed in Multicam mode. Let’s take a look at some of the things that brought about this change.
The Digital Revolution
With the internet gradually becoming the center point of our lives, the focus of transmitting cricket games shifted from television to digital. The shift made cricket consumption more accessible – one could now catch a game live on one’s smartphone from literally anywhere. The other thing that helped the cause was cheap data – now, one didn’t have to worry about an exorbitant internet bill. Hence, the fact that the streaming rights of IPL 2023 were higher than the TV rights didn’t come as a surprise.
The boom of the gaming industry gave rise to many cricket-related games. Fans could play the game virtually and hone their skills. They could also compete with fellow fans from other parts of the world. The segment that benefitted the most was fantasy gaming. India now has more than 300 fantasy platforms and 180 million players (and counting). And for those who wish to seek greater monetary rewards by testing their cricketing skills, there’s online betting. In case you want to explore it, you can check the best betting sites in India.
Social Media Boom
Thanks to social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, communities started to form online. The nature of these platforms made the fans not just watch the game but engage with one another in real-time. A particular moment in the game started being discussed at that very minute. That too, on a large scale, resulting in memes and trends. It also gave birth to bloggers and influencers who would analyze the game and offer tips and strategies.
Enhanced Viewing Experience
The introduction of augmented and virtual reality has taken the experience of catching a game to another level. With VR, fans can actually feel a stadium-like experience. Technological advancements like hawk-eye, DRS, and 360-degree replays have brought the fans closer to the game. They feel as if they are in the middle of the action.
As technology continues to evolve, one wonders what the next innings in the digital world of cricket will look like. But one thing’s for sure, the heart of India will always beat for its beloved sport.