Tim Cook, senior manager: sports at Discover Digital, describes the deal as ‘huge’ for South Africa. It will allow DEOD to take near-live highlights of the events to South African cricket fans within minutes of them happening throughout the day. “It’s phenomenal. For the first time, South Africans will have access to near-live short-form content to stay on top of what’s happening, on the go, in the most important cricket tournament after the World Cup. They will be able to see the most spectacular moments and track the progress of the world’s leading cricketing teams – including South Africa – throughout the tournaments during every hour of play. We have created a Cricket package to cover both of these tournaments costing just R10, so fans don’t have to subscribe to our Premium Package if they just want cricket. The content will of course be available to our Sports OnDemand and DEOD Premium Customers too at no additional cost.”
DEOD has created a dedicated OnDemand Category for the ICC tournaments, starting with the ICC Champions Trophy which runs from 1st – 18th June in England and Wales. All the key action plays will be shared, giving fans ongoing updates of the most exciting moments of the event within minutes of key match action. Access to DEOD enables a lot more near-live content to be viewed than is generally available through other public platforms. The ICC Women’s World Cup from 24th June – 23rd July will also have a pop-up channel. Highlights from the tournaments will also be featured as part of DSN – DEOD Sports Network. The DSN content will also include build-up content, analysis and interviews before and after the matches.
Stephen Watson, managing director of Discover Digital, says: “This is a significant deal in the sports space, taking a major mainstream event out of the pay-TV arena to a much broader audience. We have seen a massive trend towards near-live short-form action content, as many people simply don’t have the time to sit and watch a whole day of sports, but they still want to keep up to date with the action. This is a fantastic way for fans to keep up with a tournament like this wherever they are, and they don’t have to wait for a sports roundup at the end of the day.” Watson says the deal takes the mainstream sport of International Cricket to all viewers, and allows sponsor brands to extend their reach while new brands can now associate themselves with the sport. “It’s perfect for busy sports fans on the go, and it’s ideal for mobile viewers, so we are keen to partner with brands and telcos to take it to their customer bases too,” says Watson. “Discover Digital will also be extending this partnership and exciting content licensing opportunity to ASEAN & Australia, engaging partners in these territories that wish to work with us and C2G.”
Mr Sethi, chairman of Channel 2 Group says: “The digital property created by the ICC has massive appeal to cricket fans who might not normally have access to live paid-TV. The adoption of short-form near-live content by millennials and smart device consumers opens up a whole new digital market for sports rights holders and key partnerships with telecommunications businesses. We are delighted to partner with Discover Digital, who has a firm understanding of the potential of this content and innovative strategies and technology to maximise its reach.