Cricket stars unite to sell video secrets
A new video platform will soon give sports fans an insight into top players’ homes, personalities and playing secrets.
A group of New Zealand cricketers have created Behind The Seams TV, a subscription video platform where some of the world’s best cricket players and coaches reveal honest renditions of their careers in interviews.
Cricket-scoring software company CricHQ’s former executive chairman, Mike Loftus, is leading the venture, which aims to step on the toes of broadcast sports media and reach 500 million online cricket fans.
It would cost fans US$1.99 a month to watch the weekly-release videos. When more were published, subscribers could pay a premium for exclusive footage.
Former international cricketers turned commentators Scott Styris and Simon Doull, as well as Black Cap fast bowler Mitchell McClenaghan, will host the interviews around the world.
In the interviews they ask players to reveal their secret bowling and batting techniques, their career highlights and failures and stories of sledging.
Loftus said there was an international desire for videos of sports stars.
‘‘You are already seeing subscription models for ESPN and Sky Sport dropping away substantially at the moment.’’
It has hired a team of marketers in India to help grow its presence in the cricket-mad country.
It plans to launch with five interviews in mid-August, but needs almost half a million dollars to get the word out.
To do so it will open a public campaign on Equitise to find the extra $450,000, offering up 30 per cent of the business’s equity to be bought. If it did not raise the money, Loftus said it would still have enough funding to launch this year.
Indian cricketer Rohit Sharma, Australian cricketer Glenn Maxwell and 1980s Black Cap Richard Hadlee are among the subjects of 10- to 25-minute interviews ready be published.
McClenaghan said convincing his friends from the game to be interviewed would be easy.
But players also had a financial incentive to feature on the site. They would be paid 10 cents for every subscriber that watched their interview.
Styris interviewed McClenaghan for the site earlier this year and had him reveal the reason he strived for a career in sport.
McClenaghan said that his hatred towards naysayers fuelled his ambition to become an international professional cricketer.
He said he felt so relieved after the interview that he decided to waive his royalty rights and invested $40,000 of his own money into the venture for a 5 per cent stake. McClenaghan said he hoped the interviews would inspire hopeful athletes living in India’s slums.
‘‘Cricket is the reason people in India get up in the morning.’’
If successful, he said it could extend to other sports and possibly even Bollywood stars.
Behind The Seams would make money from subscription fees and sponsors paying to advertise on the platform.
It is aiming to have 100,000 subscribers worldwide and to turn over $350,000 by December this year.