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Summary:

Game day in the U.S. usually means a bottle of Bud and football on the television for a few hours. But for Willow TV‘s million registered users across the globe, it means cracking open a Kingfisher, firing up the PC and enjoying literally a day’s worth […]

Game day in the U.S. usually means a bottle of Bud and football on the television for a few hours. But for Willow TV‘s million registered users across the globe, it means cracking open a Kingfisher, firing up the PC and enjoying literally a day’s worth of Cricket.

Founded in 2003, Willow TV gradually acquired the rights from international cricket boards to stream matches live online. By 2007, through a combination of deals, the site carries 90+ percent of the cricket matches live. It’s registered user base of more than a million people lives predominately in North America, with 25 to 30 percent of the broadband audience outside the continent.

Willow TV provides livestreams of cricket matches on a pay-per-view or subscription basis, with packages starting around $5 up to $200. The company offers multiple bit streams, 700 Kbps and 400 Kbps, and plans to offer a 1MB stream next year as well.

And when fans sit down to watch Willow TV, they make themselves comfortable. According to company co-founder Vijay Srinivasan, on a match day, the average user spends four to five hours on the site, which isn’t that hard to believe once you realize cricket matches go on for eight hours.

Srinivasan says that the company has been profitable pretty much since it started, which may explain why Reliance ADA, the largest media company in India, plunked down $60 to $70 million this month for a 75 percent stake in Willow TV and to expand its operations (how much went to the acquisition and how much is for expansion was not disclosed).

Reliance wants to expand Willow TV’s reach beyond the PC and onto set-top boxes like the Apple TV, the Verismo box or the Roku (but not cable co. or satellite set-top boxes).

Willow’s expansion couldn’t have come at a better time as the cricket business is booming. A shorter version of cricket called Twenty20 that condenses the games from eight hours down to four is catching on, and earlier this month ESPN coughed up $900 million for the global rights to the Twenty20 Champions League.

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  1. GigaNET: Willow TV, Cadmium, Mobile Tech – GigaOM Thursday, September 25, 2008

    [...] NewTeeVee: The return of Monday Night Football not doing it for you? Get your cricket fix online via Willow TV. [...]

  2. As Much as I love the Cricket I wish Willow was Advertisng Supported and Not subscription based and as a ex-pat Aussie I prefer to crack open a Coopers ;) .I watch the cricket streams available as indexed from http://www.myp2p.eu/

  3. Actually Chris, a game of cricket can last upto 5 days.

  4. Dancan is Right…. January in Australia when many Aussie’s have their Summer Holidays (Vacation) is known as a month when theres alot of Test Cricket and nothing gets done .

  5. Willow.tv is so expensive. TVNSports.com has much better streams and packages for 90% cheaper than willow. It is a big hit since everyone wants to save money these days.

    There service is really great. I am watching Ind vs Aus from them at the moment and it is god quality.

    Just $8 for the whole series!!! Willow charge $60!!!!!!

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  7. Shimoga Srinath Saturday, January 17, 2009

    Am I the only one having problems with willow.tv?

    My share of problems;

    1) The second T20 game between SA-Aus replay showed the first T20 for days after the game. It took repeated e-mails to their tech support group to fix it.

    2) Yesterday when I was watching the first 50 over ODI, when SA was 2228/7 the video blanked out tll the game was over. I missed the most crucial part of the game. Still no reply from willow.tv as to what happened. There is no number to call. Once they take your money, it looks like we are at their mercy.

    Has anyone else run in to this problem?

  8. Watch the Cricket IPL Tourney Online Via Silverlight Friday, April 17, 2009

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  9. Watch the Cricket IPL Tourney Online Via Silverlight [NewTeeVee] | BYOHosting.com Blogs Friday, April 17, 2009

    [...] TV. It was a big money-maker for global television broadcasters. In the U.S., the games were broadcast over the Internet by Willow.tv. This year, cricket fans can also watch the games on IPL’s official web site, where nearly [...]

  10. azhar goraya Friday, April 24, 2009

    i want to see live match tonight oakistan vs australia tell how and where i am waiting by

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