Fantasy gamers watch more sports than other athletes: IFSG Report

Fantasy sports players in India watch more sports than other sports persons. The revelation is made by the Indian Federation of Sports Gaming (IFSG) in a survey.

The Indian Federation of Sports Gaming (IFSG), India’s first and only self-regulatory industry body for the sports gaming sector, released a study on ‘Fantasy Sports: Measuring its impact on actual sports consumption’.

In a custom study commissioned to Nielsen by IFSG, 1,169 respondents were covered from cities such as – Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Bangalore, and Hyderabad. Out of the total sample size of 1169, 566 respondents were Fantasy Sports Players and 603 respondents were Non-Fantasy Sports Players. It was also found that 37% of Fantasy Sports Players consume more than 6-8 hours of real-life sports content per week to stay abreast with knowledge on players and match conditions turning passive sports viewers into active participants of a match, IFMG has stated in a Press release.

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This is the first study that attempts to understand the relationship between playing Fantasy Sports and consumption of real-life/actual Sports. Owing to the convergence of sports and technology, the Indian sports fans are enjoying a truly immersive and engaging viewing experience. With the advent of affordable smartphones and high-speed internet access, there has never been a better time to be a sports fan in India.

“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 as well as the advent shorter format sports leagues like IPL, Indian Super League (ISL), Pro Kabaddi League (PKL). The fantasy sports platforms are enabling casual fans to engage with the sports they love becoming 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 sports ecosystem of India,” said IFSG CEO Anwar Shirpurwala.

Key Highlights from the IFSG study are:

  • Kabaddi is followed more by fantasy sports players as compared to non-players. Out of 566 respondents from metro area who are Fantasy sports players: 37% players followed Kabaddi whereas out of 603 respondents, 31% non-players followed kabaddi sports
  • Players mainly follow Cricket on TV & Online: Out of 566 respondents from metro area who are Fantasy sports players, 80% players follow cricket on TV at home, 73% players follows on the internet (Apps), and 57% players follows on the internet (Online). Followers prefer new age mediums like apps and websites to follow their favourite sport
  • Fantasy Sports Players like following scoreboard of matches online more than non-users.  Out of 566 respondents from metro area who are Fantasy sports players-

o        78% respondents follow the match while it is ongoing by following an online scoreboard or using online apps

o        66% follow cricket players & team news online so that they understand which players are performing well

o        66% discuss with friends about the matches/ tournaments

o        61% eagerly await the coin toss before the match starts

Out of 566 respondents from metro area who are Fantasy sports players and 603 respondents who are non-fantasy sports players-

o        37% players spend more than 6-8 hours on TV/Online VS 8% of non-players

o        32% players spend more than 3 hrs watching a sports match VS 14% of non-players

o        80% users agree browsing information about sports, matches improves their strategy

o        62% of respondents watch different types of leagues, even when their team/country is not playing