Sports Flashes targets ₹50 crore Series A funding to tap vernacular market

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Sports Flashes, the digital multi-sports and multi-media service, is seeking a Series A funding to expand its live sports radio into the Indian vernacular market and strengthen non-live video content.

The brand is engaged in discussions to raise ₹ 50 crore ($ 7 million) to fund its expansion plans. “Vernacular is a very good piece for Sports Flashes radio. We have become the world’s biggest digital radio station in audience numbers. We are looking to expand further. Indian vernacular market is our next major target,” Sports Flashes Managing Director Raman Raheja told Insidesport Desk.

“We are doing English, Hindi and Bangla. Marathi, Punjabi, Gujarati and a number of other Indian regional markets are the next for the sports radio expansion. We have a consumer base for our vernacular texted-content. Audio will be the next major addiotion.”

Sports Flashes, according to Raheja, has recorded 45 million audiences in December. The global total listenership of 3.6 million makes Sports Flashes the largest digital sports radio channel precisely in a year’s time since its launch in January last year.

Also Read: ICC World Cup LIVE: Sports Flashes bags audio rights from Channel 2 Group

The company already has ICC World Cup 2019 and English Premier League audio rights under its belt. The app-based sports network also holds the video rights for the ICC World Cup archive footage.

Sports Flashes is also looking at creating some programming around video content. “As a digital platform, we want to engage our audience through the content. We don’t have live streaming. Hence, we are keen on doing programming – create short shows, short films and videos around sports. We have archival rights for the ICC World Cups and we will create a lot of content around that,” adds Raheja.

“We are also looking at creating non-live sports shows and web series. This will range from biographies to a variety of sports videos. We get great radio content for say around 180 days when India plays cricket. But there needs to be a continuity for our consumer. Quality non-live content will cater to that big untapped market. We see it as a grand opportunity.”

The digital radio station has plans to broadcast the forthcoming ICC World Cup in England and Wales in 11 languages, including Mandarin to capitalise on the huge China market. “The idea is to invest $ 7-8 million on the World Cup content. We are targeting $10 million in the World Cup revenues,” says Raheja.

“We will start with non-fiction and then get into sports fiction as we go along. The biggest opportunity lies in the non-live options for sports entertainment. We are trying to offer a bouquet with non-live video and live audio in attractive affordable packages. It will be like free to air. The ultimate aim is to make the world’s biggest digital sports radio a made-in-India product.”

Also Read: Multi-sports app Sports Flashes bags BCCI’s global audio rights