Fans are more likely to watch a particular league or sport if they have a fantasy team for the same, a survey has revealed.
Released by the Indian Federation of Sports Gaming (IFSG) in tandem with marketing agency Nielsen, the survey showed how fantasy gamers follow sports in real life much more as compared to non-fantasy gamers.
The fantasy gaming industry has made significant inroads among India’s sports fans in the past few years, with major players like Dream11 and MyTeam11 recording downloads by the millions.
So much so that the popularity of fantasy gaming is helping popularise sports even further.
A total of 1,169 respondents from major Indian metro cities were part of the survey group. It concluded that 37 per cent of fantasy gamers consume more than seven hours of real-life sports to stay aware of everything happening in the game while only eight per cent of the non-fantasy gamers admitted to watching sports for similar durations.
“India is a sports-loving nation. Alongside cricket, which remains our most-watched sport, we are witnessing increased viewership of sports like kabaddi and hockey through the advent of shorter format sports leagues like the Indian Premier League (IPL), Indian Super League (ISL), and the Pro Kabaddi league (PKL),” said Anwar Shirpurwala, the CEO of IFSG.
The survey also found that 78 per cent of fantasy gamers follow live updates of a particular game through different sports apps, while 66 per cent admitted to reading up on news online to get an understanding of the match.
“The fantasy sports platforms are enabling casual fans to engage with the sports they love, often converting them into core sports fans. The growth of the online fantasy sports gaming platforms is resulting in a growth in the viewership of various formats of sports.
“The findings validate the strong potential of fantasy sports in contributing to the growth of the sports ecosystem of India,” he added.