Fate of fantasy sports explained

Chennai: The Federation of Indian Fantasy Sports (FIFS), India’s first and only self-regulatory industry body for Online Fantasy Sports Platforms (OFSP), has shared some ‘very interesting facts’ about the users and format of online fantasy sports platforms.

FIFS was founded in 2017 and is led by Bimal Julka, as chairman.Julka, in his previous role, served as the Chief Information Commissioner of Government of India and oversees the self-governance of Fantasy Sports sector in India.

Industry discussions and research reports such as the IndiaTech whitepaper have established that 80 per cent of the OFSP users prefer to participate in the free-to-play format. Statistics demonstrate that 99.60% of users who participate in a fantasy sports contest have either won or lost less than Rs 10,000 net on an Online Fantasy Sports Platform in their lifetime.

The average ticket size of participation in the pay-to-play format is usually as low as Rs 35. Online Fantasy Sports is a digital sports engagement platform that is dependent entirely on real-life sports.

It has become one of the primary sources of sports engagement for avid fans and matured users, primarily in the age group of 24 to 40 years. The very fact that it is dependent on actualities, seasonality, and availability of real-time sports matches makes it a non-addictive form of play, as stated in the IndiaTech report.

Interestingly, the time spent on the Online Fantasy Sports platforms is only limited to the time taken to draft the fantasy sports team. Participating in fantasy sports platforms also increases sports consumption as a sports fan follows teams, players, match conditions etc. more closely to be able to create a successful fantasy sports team.

Several leading sports bodies and leagues have partnered with Fantasy Sports platforms for meaningful fan engagement with the sport. Since the results of fantasy sports contests are purely dependent on the outcome of the real sporting event, there is no simulation and user can only participate in a fantasy sports contest right before the match start time of a live sporting event. This clearly differentiates OFSP as a non-addictive form of pure engagement with real-life sports.


NT Bureau