Cricket Australia to launch Android smartwatch app, new websites

National cricket body gets ready for a digital summer

Photo credit: Getty Images.

Photo credit: Getty Images.

Cricket Australia has been working with IT partner Accenture on the new websites and smartwatch app. Accenture was recently awarded a four-year contract to help the organisation with data analytics, social media and content management. The data analytics will include traffic usage and fan engagement.

“We are very keen on knowing what content is being consumed and how, so that we can do more of the content that fans want,” said Amarfio.

“I have made it very clear to our guys that I want us to be on every platform that people are. We’re across smartphones, tablets and PCs. If smart TVs take off, we’ll be there.”

However, Cricket Australia has no plans to follow the Australian Football League (AFL) and release a Google Glass app yet. Despite Google Glass not being commercially available in Australia, Telstra and Seventh Beam developed an app called AFL Glassware in September 2013.

The app allows AFL fans to choose a live game commentary or have the commentary translated to text via the optical display. Customers can also view scores and stats while watching the match.

“It’s too early for us and we’re going to concentrate on where the fish are. If Google Glass takes off and millions of people start adopting it, than we’d be mad not too,” said Amarfio.

“There’s always a myriad of opportunities and some of them are a bit gimmicky. We will focus on where most of the fans are and where it makes commercial sense for us to be involved.”

An area that has made commercial sense for Cricket Australia is a live match streaming subscription service called Watch Live, which can be accessed via its Live iOS and Android app. Released in November 2013, more than 1 million people have downloaded the app.

Punters are charged an annual fee of $19.99 to use the video streaming service. If people don’t want to pay for an annual package, they can get a daily pass for $4.99.

In addition, people can listen to an audio only stream from Cricket Australia’s radio partners including the ABC and Fairfax radio stations.

However, Aussie cricket fans that live overseas can’t currently access the live match video streaming subscription service due to international broadcast rights deals.

“The complication we have is that Cricket Australia did a lot of international TV deals where the digital rights had been included with the TV rights,” said Amarfio. “We were blocked out of streaming into markets where those partners were. What we have been doing is going through the process of carving out those digital rights.”

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

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