The Unparalleled Potential of Fantasy Sports in India

20 Mar 2018

India’s first report on the growth of the Fantasy Sports industry

  • IFSG-AC Nielsen report reveals the growing momentum of fantasy sports gaming in India
  • 2 out of 3 i.e. 67% of the 18 crore online Indian cricket fans are aware of fantasy sports
  • With 1.8 crore users, Dream11 is the biggest player in India’s Fantasy Sports market
  • The gap between 67% awareness and 10% adoption highlights the huge growth potential of this industry

Mumbai, March 20, 2018: IFSG – AC Nielsen report ‘SCORING BIG WITH SPORTS GAMING’ is India’s first ever report on the phenomenal growth of Fantasy Sports gaming in India. The report highlights that a staggering 2 out of 3 (67%) online cricket fans in India are aware of fantasy sports gaming. The report also highlights the changing nature of sports consumption with 3rd screen interactivity showing a marked rise, both in metros and non-metros. The advent of Fantasy Sports has converted a passive sports viewer into an active fan. This report was commissioned by the Indian Federation of Sports Gaming (IFSG) to understand awareness levels, market size, user profile, consumption pattern and how fantasy sports augments real sports consumption.

Today, Indian sports fans enjoy a truly immersive and engaging viewing experience thanks to the convergence of sports and technology. With the advent of affordable smartphones and high-speed internet access, there has never been a better time to be a sports fan in India. Fantasy Sports has been the perfect catalyst in helping casual sports fans engage more with the sport they love and become core sports fans.

Talking about the report’s insights, Harsh Jain, Chairman of IFSG & Co-Founder, CEO of Dream11 said, “Over the past decade, Fantasy Sports has been at the helm of evolving the Indian sports fans’ experience by giving them the perfect platform to showcase their sports knowledge and skill. 70 crore* Indian passive sports viewers now have the opportunity to become active participants in every single match. Fantasy Sports is the start of a revolution that will change the face of the sports industry forever.”

Almost all major sports leagues in the world are using fantasy sports as their primary tool of fan engagement. The CPL, ISL & NBA have all forged official partnerships with Dream11 to offer fantasy cricket, football and basketball. Further, EPL, IPL & PKL run their own fantasy sports games to keep their fans engaged.

In India, Fantasy Sports is widely played across Cricket, Football, Kabaddi and Basketball. Fantasy Sports is the new language of sports, and has the potential to change the way Indian sports fans traditionally consumed sports.

Highlighting the growing interest in Fantasy Gaming, Ashish Karnad, Executive Director, Nielsen India said, “Fantasy Sports is an emerging phenomenon in Urban India – which gives sports fans an opportunity to use their knowledge, skill and understanding of the sport and players to win in online versions of actual on-ground games. Among sports enthusiasts, 2 out of 3 people are aware of fantasy sports.”

Notable findings of the report:

Fantasy Sports is highly sticky – 89% of the users play fantasy sports at least once a month

Out of the users who have ever played fantasy sports – 96% of them have played it at least once in the past 1 year and 89% of them played it in the last one month. The offering is highly sticky and engaging in nature.

60 operators and growing: India fast becoming the battlefield of fantasy sports operators

Fantasy Sports in India now has about 60 fantasy sports gaming operators, up from 30 operators in 2017. Among all these operators, Dream11 has around 90% market share followed by MyTeam11 and HalaPlay.

With 2 crore fantasy sports users, India rapidly catching up with western countries

Fantasy sports has been played in the USA since the 1950s. In USA and Canada alone, there are 59.3 million (5.93 crore) Fantasy Sports users, while India is home to 2 crore fantasy sports users – growing from just 20 lakh in 2016.

Fantasy Sports is played across metro & non-metro cities

The Fantasy Sports wave has made sports consumption more engaging for fans across metro and non-metro cities alike. From cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore to Lucknow, Patna, Indore etc.

Growing popularity amongst financially independent working professionals

Fantasy Sports users are independent, married, well-educated, working professionals with a disposable income. The affluent section of consumers displays the highest awareness of Fantasy Sports by far. 51% of the users are graduates and 84% of the users are working professionals. Fantasy Sports users are typically married men with higher incomes. 72% of the fantasy sports users are aged 25 to 35, 28% being 18 to 24 year old males.

Fantasy Sports is taking India by storm

Fantasy sports is a growing phenomenon across India. There is significant awareness about fantasy sports gaming in India. Statistically, users from North India (69%) display a higher awareness of Fantasy Sports and participate more followed by West (67%), East (66%) and South (64%)

Mobile/tablets are preferred devices for fantasy users

93% users play fantasy sports via mobile/tablets making these their preferred devices.

*Note to the editors

Total 2700 males aged between 18-35 years took part in the survey across 12 cities in India

About IFSG:

Formed in 2017, Indian Federation Of Sports Gaming (IFSG) is India’s first and only Sports Gaming self-regulatory industry body formed to protect consumer interests and create standardised best practices in the Sports Gaming industry. IFSG aims to create a thriving ecosystem for users & operators by laying guidelines for a common set of practices, setting standards of operation and creating a regulatory framework to protect user and operator interests. Further, IFSG takes the lead on promoting Responsible Gaming.

IFSG works with key stakeholders to create a conducive environment and ensure the growth of Sports Gaming in India by being the unified voice of the industry. These stakeholders include various sports leagues, sports fans, Sports Gaming operators, policy analysts, law firms, economists and statisticians, tech providers, payment gateway providers, tax consultants, growth enablers (online and offline media platforms), business consulting firms and government representatives.



Media Contacts:  

  • Shripad Sukenkar | Genesis Burson-Marsteller | | 7045352236
  • Stephanie Paul | Genesis Burson-Marsteller | | 8097121726