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Summary:

Yesterday, I wrote about Indian Premier League’s Twenty20 Cricket tournament for NewTeeVee. The big news was that the Indian professional cricket league championship (now in its second year) would be using Microsoft’s Silverlight multimedia technology. Given the wild popularity of this ultra short-form of the sport, […]

ipl-logoYesterday, I wrote about Indian Premier League’s Twenty20 Cricket tournament for NewTeeVee. The big news was that the Indian professional cricket league championship (now in its second year) would be using Microsoft’s Silverlight multimedia technology. Given the wild popularity of this ultra short-form of the sport, it was a good comeback for Microsoft, which was unceremoniously dropped by MLB.com in favor of the incumbent Adobe Flash. Well, as luck would have it, the Microsoft-IPL partnership got off to a disastrous start.

The IPL’s official web site has been on the blink for more than 30 hours. When I tweeted about that, many of my followers expressed the same frustration at not being able to access the web site, which was giving 503 error messages. Others complained that the tournament wasn’t available for viewing in North America. With day two of the tournament around the corner, no one has any idea when the site is actually going to actually be accessible.

When I reached out to Microsoft, they said that there have been outages at the back end and are unrelated to Silverlight. A Microsoft spokesperson said that you could access a player with limited functionality. So far, I have been unable to make it work.

Instead, I have turned to the trusted and more reliable Willow.tv for the game broadcasts. Sure, I have to use VMWare Fusion to run Windows XP in order to watch the games — but at least it works.

I think the online idea snafu is a big slap in the face for IPL. By not devoting more resources to its online video offering, IPL has missed out on an opportunity to make more money. I am sure if they had asked people to pay for the broadcasts, many fans, especially in North America could have forked over cash. Maybe they should visit the MLB.com offices in New York and get a first-hand lesson in making money from online video.

  1. [...] Cricket’s Online Video Fails To Deliver Yesterday, I wrote about Indian Premier League’s Twenty20 Cricket tournament. The big news was that the [...]

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  2. I haven’t tried it – but, Setanta Broadband says they’re carrying much or all of the IPL matches.

    http://www.setanta.com/us/News/Cricket/IPL/

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    1. Setanta has got rights in UK.

      In US, it’s DirectTV and Australia Channel Ten

      Broadcaster information for IPL http://www.cricketviva.com/tour/ipl-2009/broadcasters/

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  3. Reuters says IPL is part of DirecTV’s Cricket Ticket.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/pressRelease/idUS154937+28-Jan-2009+BW20090128

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    1. Yes it is part of DirecTV, WillowTV has got Internet rights in US.

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  4. I try to avoid Microsoft-based technologies as best as possible. Unfortunately living in China all apps are designed for IE with no support for other browers, so my morals have had to change. The sooner that people use only compliant browers the sooner things may improve for me, as a designer.

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  5. Also as a further point, i watch alot of the IPL games on spvod.com although the quality may not be as good as you need. They run streams from a South African sports network.

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  6. Om, this may be down to how the IPL rights have been sliced up and sold. Willow.tv has rights to North America (which is one of the reasons why BIG bought 75 pc stake in the co).

    AFAIK, NetLinkBlue holdings has the rights to live streaming in India, Middle East and Pakistan, while Live Current Media had rights to the official portal. So…both of these entities combined their rights in a JV called Global Cricket Ventures — http://bit.ly/iplportalrights

    There’s been massive confusion in India over the mobile rights as well, though things are clearer now.

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  7. No surprize that the Indian media companies have yet to figure out a way to monetize any content whatsoever, let along video content. The IPL is probably no different.

    As far as Willow is concerned, that’s just robbery in broad day light. Yes, I understand capitalism, but still… There are more people watching cricket streams on some cheap stolen stream than on Willow. Someone needs to hammer basic pricing strategy in to their heads.

    End of rant.

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    1. Totally Agree,
      About six years back I even exchanged email communication with the then CEO of willow.tv.
      They were expecting the subscriptions numbers to go high , which automagically decrease the price.
      I am not sure about the subscription numbers , but the prices are still high.

      I was a loyal supporter for sometime and paid the full price. Now I switched to many of these cheap paid sites. Thank you willow, and thank you BCCI, while I like the entertainment , I wish you a total fiscal failure.

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  8. Om: It might be down to the way the rights have been sliced up and sold according to type and geography. From what I remember, Willow.tv has rights for North America, while NetLinkBlue has live streaming and mobile rights for India, Pakistan and Middle East. The official portal rights were also sold separately to Live Current Media.

    Live Current Media and NetLinkBlue have combined the rights they had bought separately, into a new venture called Global Cricket Ventures.

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  9. [...] this Saturday with the Mumbai Indians taking on the Chennai Super Kings but I’m just reading Om Malik’s comments and it seems it’s not been without its problems albeit on the back-end rather than [...]

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  10. Yes, yesterday it was total Fail. I think its rectified now and waiting to watch the match streamed Live using Silverlight.

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