Awards a vindication of RevSportz’s founding philosophy

ENBA Awards (Image: G Rajaraman)

It was the night Neeraj Chopra won the Diamond League in Lausanne in August 2022. The very same evening, India were playing an inconsequential T20 against Afghanistan in Dubai after having already exited the Asia Cup. There were 30 of us in Dubai covering the match, while not one Indian journalist was in Lausanne.

No, it wasn’t just about money.

The very next week, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty won their first World Championship medal in Tokyo, and there wasn’t a single Indian journalist on ground to cover it. We in India send journalists to cover the FIFA World Cup, but shy away from doing so when it comes to the Paralympics.

It is a systemic issue. Most editors in India, if not all, are political reporters who don’t understand or care for sport. They turn to sport only when Neeraj wins an Olympic gold. The moment such a thing happens, the sports reporter on ground is instructed to get a Neeraj interview lined up for the 8pm or 9pm anchor. Forgotten is the fact that it is the reporter who has worked all year to track Neeraj. It is his or her story.

These are the realities of sports journalism in India. Trips are cancelled citing budgets, while political reporters travel to multiple destinations. The understanding is that sport can be covered from the studio or the newsroom, and it is a waste of money to send the reporter to the event.

This is where RevSportz wanted to make a difference. A dream, which was then conceptualised by journalists and made reality by them. Cover every event possible from on ground. Be disruptors. Help the Indian sports narrative by covering Olympic and Paralympic sport with equal passion. Don’t discriminate against para sport, when the cricket World Cup is on, for example. Don’t just go by what sells. Go by what will make a difference to sport.

Some will call this vision idealistic, and also irrational. Others will say that idealism has no place in the realm of business. We are aware of such statements. And yet, in two years, we have won the award for the best sports digital news channel. We have won multiple other awards for our work on mental health, for a conclave that is now India’s best sports gathering by a mile, and for on-ground reporting which has broken barriers.

We are backed by the best of corporate India and, most importantly, athletes love the work we do.

Team RevSportz at the ENBA Awards Ceremony

Yes, RevSportz today is recognised across the country for adding to the Indian sports ecosystem. The awards last night are vindication. Winning the best digital news channel award for sport was so far a domain of the privileged few. Platforms created by journalists did not stand a chance. Now, they do. In a media agnostic world, you don’t need the big studios anymore. You need out-of-the-box thinking. Digital is the future, and we are committed to making a difference.

It is wrong to say Olympic and Paralympic sport don’t sell. Such statements are a result of conventional marketing teams not knowing how to showcase them. They only know how to sell spectacles like the IPL, and the sports journalist pays the price for their inefficiency. What works is a good story. If you are to give your narrative an apt platform, there will be thousands that watch or read you. And a section will back you as well.

A Prakash Padukone interview, for example, will go viral, as we have seen this week. Brands will want to put their name to it. Our coverage of the Asian Games and Asian Para Games were acknowledged by the jury as the best in-depth coverage of a particular event. A talk show with stars from across sport will be watched and recognised. The narrative is shifting, and we want to be the harbingers of that change.


Our team has grown exponentially, and will continue to do so. What will not change, however, is the determination to cover every sport. The determination to report on what we consider a quality story. And yes, when we started RevSportz, it was identified with me. Now, it isn’t. Today, I am proud to say I am a part of RevSportz, which is a collective of India’s best sports journalists. And that’s the ambition. Work the hardest, make a difference to sport, and in doing so, create a legacy that we are all proud of.

The awards are just a culmination of the process. I thank everyone involved for recognising our work, and thank my team for making RevSportz what it is. And end with a reminder – the Olympic Games don’t come along every four years. Rather, the road to glory takes in every day. Media is a 24/7 business. Within a second of receiving the award, we had to report on the Rohan Bopanna story. And that’s what defines us. We want every sports journalist to be a part of this narrative. That’s when we can make a real difference. Thank you all, and thank you to the ENBA.

It was a conscious call not to travel to receive the awards. We play a team sport, and the captain is only as good as the team. The awards were received by two of my senior-most colleagues and one of our best young journalists. G Rajaraman, S Kannan and Gargi Raut attended the event on behalf of each one of us in the team. Well done to all!


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