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HT Media forms JV with Minute Media for football portal in India

MUMBAI: Minute Media, the parent company of football content sites 90min and 12up, is bringing its contributor-driven sports media platform to India in a joint venture with HT Media.

The new joint venture will launch 90min, powered by HT, to serve millions of football fans in South Asia, first in English and later in Hindi.

Built on 90min’s next-generation mobile- and socially driven technology, the site will offer the latest news, commentary, statistics and visuals on global football to an increasingly passionate Indian market across HT Media properties.

The announcement comes just a day after HT Media company acquired 50.5% stake in Singapore-based Sports Asia, which has been authorised to operate a website, mobile web platform, mobile and tablet app, and social media and messaging app providing football content.

HT media Rajiv VermaAnnouncing the joint venture, HT Media Group CEO Rajiv Verma said, “We are very pleased to partner 90min.com, the fastest growing soccer site in the world with over 50 million monthly users, and bring to India 90min.in, which provides a platform for the massively expanding number of soccer fans in the country to engage with, and be a part of the global soccer community and conversation. 90min.in is a contributor-led offering in English, and soon in Hindi, and is available across web, mobile and social platforms. In the coming months, we intend to build scale into this hyper-connected fan platform, covering of course all of the best of global soccer and the biggest global tournaments, but also the fast emerging Indian soccer leagues, teams and players. The idea is to bring together the proven platform of 90min to engaging football fans and HT Media’s established reach with audiences, brands and customers.”

“India is not just home to one of the world’s largest football fan bases, at 170 million and growing, but more than 20 million football fans already are active on social media. That’s where our content comes in,” said Minute Media founder and CEO Asaf Peled.

“We see a tremendous need to provide brands, publishers, and fans with a platform to generate and share football related content across web, mobile and social based channels. Our strategic partnership with HT Media is the perfect gateway to introduce our open technology platform into the Indian market and give a powerful voice to the growing number of football fans across India.”

90min, powered by HT, will feature an array of topics created by the fans using various multimedia formats including video, polls, slideshows and interactive polls. Powered by Hydra, Minute Media’s proprietary content management platform, publishers such as HT Media can feature or embed its rich content across their media properties. Global advertising partners and local brands will also be able to reach consumers through customised content marketing campaigns across 90min India’s platform.

The 90min partnership with HT Media comes after a year of rapid growth for Minute Media. Its global audience has climbed from 7.5 million unique visitors a month to 55 million global unique visitors in the past 18 months.

More than 110 million users engage with 90min through social media monthly and 70% of the audience is under the age of 25.

Minute Media enables more than 4,000 fan journalists to create a new form of rich, interactive, social content and is currently generating more than 15,000 pieces of curated content per month in 10 languages.

Last October, the company closed a $15-million round of funding, bringing its total funding to $45 million, led by leading venture capital firms Battery Ventures, Dawn Capital, Gemini Ventures, North Base Media and ProSieben.

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