Cricket is undoubtedly the most popular sport in India, with millions of fans following the game religiously. In the past decade, technology has played a pivotal role in revolutionizing how cricket enthusiasts can watch and engage with the latest matches of their beloved sport.
For years, television has been the top choice for millions of Indian cricket fans. Star Sports, the dominant player in the Indian TV broadcasting market, holds exclusive rights to broadcast all international such as the ICC World Cups, ICC World T20 and Asia Cup or domestic cricket matches, such as the Indian Premier League (IPL), Ranji Trophy and Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.
Apart from Star Sports, other sports TV networks in India that hold cricket broadcast rights are Sony Pictures Sports Network (SPSN) and Doordarshan (DD).
Although there has been a noticeable decline in the viewership of television in recent times, it still holds significant importance, especially for reaching a wide audience in smaller towns and villages where high-speed internet connectivity may be limited or unreliable.
In the last 5-7 years, digital platforms have witnessed a significant rise as a game-changing way for cricket fans to watch the game. The widespread availability of smartphones and affordable mobile data has driven this shift.
Several leading digital platforms have emerged as popular destinations for cricket streaming. Here are some notable examples:
- Disney+ Hotstar: Owned by Star India, Hotstar is the largest streaming service for live sports events in India, including cricket matches. It offers a wide range of live-streaming options for cricket enthusiasts and an extensive library of past games and shows related to the sport.
- SonyLIV: SonyLIV is the over-the-top (OTT) platform of Sony Pictures Network. It provides live streaming of cricket matches, allowing viewers to watch matches in real-time. SonyLIV also offers video-on-demand content, which includes cricket matches, highlights, and other related programming.
- JioTV: JioTV is a streaming app offered by Reliance Jio, a major telecom provider in India. Users can watch cricket matches in real-time on their mobile devices or smart TVs.
With live streaming of matches as their core offering, these platforms also provide additional features such as highlights, match replays, expert analysis and interactive viewing experiences. These features cater to passionate fans’ needs and attract those interested in online cricket betting.
While video streaming is a popular option for watching cricket matches in real-time, audio-only streaming continues to attract a dedicated following, especially among people on the move or those who can’t watch the full video but still want to stay connected to the live action.
One such platform is Cricket Live Commentary Radio, an iOS app. This app lets users listen to live cricket commentary and stay informed about ongoing matches. It also offers the convenience of background play, making it possible to multitask while staying connected to the action.
For Android users, Suno Cricket Radio is an excellent option. Developed by the AIR Radio Team, this app delivers live cricket commentary. It ensures users don’t miss out on crucial game moments.
In recent years, social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube have become significant channels for cricket fans to engage with the game beyond traditional broadcasts and dedicated sports platforms.
Cricket boards and leagues regularly share live match updates, scores, key moments and clips on these platforms through their official handles. Third-party creators also often live stream games and offer analysis of player performances. The rise of short-video platforms like MOJ and MX TakaTak has also witnessed increased cricket-related content from fans.
While social media platforms don’t provide full-length live matches, they are vital in expanding the conversation around the game.