Latching on to football fever

Written by Vikram Chaudhary | New Delhi | Updated: Jun 16 2014, 08:20am hrs
A variety of apps, such as Tata Skys Everywhere TV, will let you stream the games, keep track of players and matches, on your mobile phones, laptops and tablets

Some of you, especially sports enthusiasts, would surely remember those days when if you miss a high-profile matchespecially if it is relayed live at late-night hoursyou simply miss it. Yes, there were repeat telecasts, but that too, chances were, coincided with office hours. Moreover, those days there was no YouTube also where you could find match clippings. There were chances that even if the matches were relayed at regular hours, they coincided with, say, TV soaps that other family members wanted to see; most homes generally had only one TV. Then came services such as set-top boxes that could record you such matches. Among the first ones was the Tata Sky+. What next Live TV on smartphones, laptops and personal computers (PCs). Indeed, we have come a long way.

With the commencement of the FIFA World Cup, it is the sporting season once again. And because the World Cup is being organised in Brazil, once again they are being telecast in India at late-night hours. But now technology is there for our advantage. Tata Sky, which earlier launched its Everywhere TV application on smartphones and tablets, has now extended the same to PCs and laptops.

Why on PCs and laptops, one may ask Vikram Mehra, chief commercial officer, Tata Sky, explains, The success of the Everywhere TV application on phones and tablets encouraged us to take the service to PCs and laptops. And the service launch has been timed just before the FIFA World Cup to ensure that your laptop or a PC doubles up as the second TV at home, thus allowing youngsters to watch late-night football matches on these devices using their headphones, without disturbing their entire family.

He further explains, Our association with Sony Six and The One Alliance has given us the opportunity to bring a global event live for our subscribers, wherever they choose. So, now, with the extension of this application, it will no more be cumbersome to watch the matches. One, the advent of online streaming makes it easy for sports fans to watch the games on their laptops, mobiles as well as other hand-held devices while travelling and, two, you can watch late-night matches without disturbing family members.

Mehra adds that this application is quite cost-effective too. Subscribers pay just R60 per device, per month, which translates into R2 a day. And, remember, it is not simply about watching late-night games, you now also have access to your favourite shows from across the world, no matter what time they are being relayed, and no matter whether you have a second TV at home or not. In fact, PCs and hand-held devices are now becoming the second TV at home.

Launched last year, the Everywhere TV application currently has three sectionsnamely Live TV (live streaming of their favourite shows); Catch UP TV (watch previous 5 days episodes of favourite shows); and Video-on-Demand (download or watch through direct streaming over hundreds of videos including movies).

In addition, UCWeb, the mobile browser, has released the 2014 FIFA World Cup version of UC Browser for Android and UC Browser for Windows Phone to provide comprehensive FIFA content and services to football fans. This will allow millions of enthusiastic fans across the country to quickly and conveniently access the most complete and up-to-date World Cup information including live scores, text broadcast, stats, photos, videos and group updates, claims the company.

Interestingly, UC Web has also launched its mega R1 crore World Cup guessing contest on the UC Browser. Termed the World Cup Bonanza, it gives participants the chance to prove their football prowess by predicting the winners of each match. The more correct guesses made, the closer the participant is to winning the grand prize. Upon correctly guessing every winner of the World Cup group stage (total of 48 matches), the participant will walk away with R1 crore grand prize. Participants also stand a chance to win an array of prizes including tablets, phones, laptops, etc.

Football fever is at its peak in India and with the World Cup Bonanza we want to heat things up further for all the football fanatics in the country, says Abhishek Sharma, director of Marketing Communications at UCWeb India.