Our Experience with Live Streaming the
Santosh Trophy

SportsKPI as the official live streaming partner presented 23 games in 13 working days across 2 venues to the homes of football fans across the country.

The 2021-22 Santosh Trophy was the 75th edition of this prestigious tournament and was held in Kerala. It stands as a premier competition in the nation, with various regional and state association teams competing against each other.

The city of Malappuram in Kerala was chosen to host the main round, with the Kottappadi Stadium and the Payyanad Stadium being the two venues where the matches were held.

From the 10 teams competing for the grand prize, West Bengal and hosts Kerala reached the final and the hosts would go on to defeat the 32-time Santosh Trophy winners on penalties to clinch their seventh title.

Live streaming the 75th Santosh Trophy 2021-22

Social networking sites have now become social media for organizations as a means of sharing news and content rather than just connecting with friends. As a consequence, it also enabled social media to compete in the broadcasting space with the development of real-time video. Facebook, in particular, has become the home of events looking to grow its audience.

SportsKPI, as one of the partners of the 75th Santosh Trophy, live-streamed the main round which consisted of 23 matches. AIFF and SportsKPI incorporated a new state-of-the-art pitchside camera into their broadcast which provided viewers with high-quality content. The live stream of the matches was brought to a larger audience on the Indian Football Team’s official Facebook page, with fans across the country coming together to enjoy the beautiful game.

Domestic cup tournaments such as the Santosh Trophy give rise to young talents and people watching from all over the nation gives them more exposure. The field becomes the stage for the players to showcase their talents and hence, it’s important to provide them with the national stage, as it ultimately contributes to the benefit of the sport.

Here, we speak to Naveen Ningaiah, the founder and CEO of SportsKPI, who gave insights on live streaming the 75th Santosh Trophy.

When asked about how the live streaming journey started for SportsKPI?

Naveen shared an interesting story that began one and a half years back when SportsKPI were the analytical partner for the Karnataka State Football Association for the youth level U-14 and U-17 tournaments. It was then that the association looked into the idea of SportsKPI also live streaming the matches. He also added that the covid outbreak led to football associations and football tournament organizers embracing the idea of investing more in live streaming.

It was during the National Senior Women’s Football Championship at Calicut held in November and December 2021, that for the first time SportsKPI live-streamed 5 knockout matches, which led to their endeavor to live stream on a larger scale.


On being curious to understand different factors/aspects of the live streaming in a tournament such as the Santosh Trophy

As soon as SportsKPI were approved as the official live streaming partner, Naveen shared that he received a list of 26 deliverables from AIFF as a requirement.

He then explained the different factors which led to the success of live streaming of the recently concluded competition.

First of all, two games a day in two different venues meant there was a requirement for two different sets of groups. Graphics designers, the scoreboard, the lineup, stats in both the halves, and a lot more were needed to provide a greater experience to the viewers.

Top-level commentary is imperative and Suman Chakraborty was tasked with the role, which enhanced the viewing experience and a virtual setup for the experts provided in-depth analysis to the viewers. Experts such as Menez Henry, Gourmangi Singh, and Nikhil Sharma joined in from multiple locations to discuss the games in pre and post-match shows.

Furthermore, at the venue, Naveen stressed the importance of a good power supply and backup along with a superior internet connection, which ultimately makes for a better live streaming experience for the viewers.


When asked about Naveen himself being the producer of live streaming and his experience with it?

With a smile, he acknowledges the fact that it was his first time as a producer. As an analyst, running a company as a CEO and producer, he was present in all the games of the tournament to make sure everything was in order.

He also credited the crew members for coordinating things accordingly as it was a new experience for him and it ensured that everything happened in order.

Moreover, he stressed how important it is to coordinate with entities such as AIFF and the Kerala government, given their huge investment in the competition.


On Naveen’s crew, and how each one of them was a key contributor to their success

As mentioned earlier, Naveen credited the crew members for coordinating things in proper order, and he was grateful for each and every individual’s contribution.

Being a first-time producer for live streaming of a competition of such a high stature, Naveen brought in new people into the team, with an emphasis on bringing in some experts from their respective fields.

Meanwhile, people who weren’t quite as experienced in their fields were properly trained. He also credited a couple of engineering college students who not only collected stats but at the same time also relayed information on a real-time basis to graphics designers.


On interpreting the challenges faced

There weren’t any major challenges but Naveen shared an incident that took place on the first day at Kottappadi stadium.

During the first game of the tournament, the generator went off which led to the live stream stopping for 2 minutes, but luckily enough the incident didn’t happen when the goals were scored. Naveen also stressed about rain being a factor, which meant that the production crew and equipment had to be supported accordingly with cover.

In the end, there was backup from everything, which ultimately led to a smooth run-in.


On being Thankful towards AIFF, the Kerala Government, and partners of SportsKPI

Naveen was keen to thank AIFF for showing belief in SportsKPI to pull off this important task. He also thanked the Kerala Government for their coordination, which played a big role in the success of the event.

He also once again stressed how grateful he was to the production crew, and production partners who were on the ground to ensure that everything was in proper order.

Lastly, after the success of live streaming of the Santosh Trophy, what’s coming next?

Naveen is proud of the fact that SportsKPI has been an organization that provides high-quality match analysis and solutions. Moving further, he says he wants to merge streaming and analysis. He believes that doing so will bring two stakeholders in the game under the same umbrella, the stakeholders of course being the players and coaches to go with the broadcasters.

Also, undertaking these projects helps them cover different footballing pockets in the country and bring out those games to larger audiences. Greater accessibility to games around the country will undoubtedly help accelerate the growth of the sport in India, which is what Naveen has always desired.

For that purpose, SportsKPI is looking at a couple of other leagues across India. Moreover, Naveen also highlights that the success with the Santosh Trophy has led to the organization already being in talks with several associations to produce their streaming and pick up their rights. This was their first big step toward something which could end up being very special!