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Presenting ESPN.in, the best of both worlds

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ESPN.in: Definitely Indian; Distinctly ESPN (1:20)

A preview of what to expect from the newly launched multisport site ESPN.in. (1:20)

play
1:20

ESPN.in: Definitely Indian; Distinctly ESPN

A preview of what to expect from the newly launched multisport site ESPN.in.

There may be worthier and mightier things to build in the grand scheme of things, but watching a sports website come to life remains -- even for those whose business it is to build them -- a magical experience. Beyond the millions of lines of code that hold words, images and videos together, it is an act of faith.

After months of building, chiselling, testing, fixing, editing and curating, ESPN.in, India's own multisport digital destination, is now yours. A living, breathing entity, constantly seeking to connect you to the sport of your choice.

Instead of asking why we need ESPN.in -- the answer to which we are confident you will find within these pages -- you are entitled to ask us, what took you so long?

Cricket remains, and is likely to remain, India's pre-eminent sport, but the country's sports landscape had been changing tangibly and perceptibly in recent years. Increasingly, football is the first sport for upscale urban youth in India, and icons have emerged from other sports.

Sania Mirza stands at No. 41 on ESPN's World Fame 100 list, and upon attaining the No. 1 ranking in badminton last year, Saina Nehwal landed the largest sponsorship deal for an Indian sportsperson outside of cricket.

play
1:20

ESPN.in: Definitely Indian; Distinctly ESPN

A preview of what to expect from the newly launched multisport site ESPN.in.

"Since, like you, we know where the world is headed, the site is built on a firm mobile-first approach, with a minimalistic and elegant layout."

With easier access, Indian sports fans have also been acquiring a taste for sports that do not have organic roots in the country. The retirement of Kobe Bryant, the Los Angeles Lakers legend, was covered enthusiastically in the Indian media, and Stephen Curry's exploits with the Golden State Warriors find a prominent place on sports pages here.

We are fully cognisant of the role we can play in spreading the word: For the most part, the relationship between sport and media is happy and mutually beneficial.

At the basic level, sport serves our tribal instincts. The strongest allegiances are geographical -- they form in the neighbourhoods and grow upwards to cities, states and nations, becoming stronger and more vital along the way. The emotional mooring of sport is derived from partisanship.

But sport also has a higher, more spiritual appeal that cuts across national and parochial boundaries. We are drawn to the drama and the conflict, the skills and the athleticism, the grace and the beauty, the poignancy of both victory and defeat, of fall and redemption, and underlying it all, the stories of human endurance and spirit.

ESPN is uniquely positioned to cover the entire spectrum. Few media organisations can match the scale and depth with which ESPN covers big events; our partnership with Sony in India gives us access to live video streaming and on-demand video clips for several high-profile events. Our team of highly skilled journalists will create the sort of content that Indian sport deserves (of course, for cricket we need look no further than ESPNcricinfo). And all of these will be specially curated for the Indian audience.

Take, for example, the Euro football championship -- your first experience of a big tournament on ESPN.in. You will be able to watch live action on the site, browse clips and highlights at your leisure, read analysis and features from our 10 journalists covering the tournament in France, and watch our experts make sense of the action from our studios in Paris and Mumbai. To get a flavour of what we have lined up, have a look at our specially commissioned team posters.

Over the years, we are fortunate to have drawn to ESPNcricinfo India's best multisport journalists, and they have happily taken on additional responsibilities for ESPN.in. Jayaditya Gupta was the national sports editor for the Indian Express before he began managing the daily affairs of ESPNcricinfo; Sharda Ugra was deputy editor and chief sportswriter at India Today; and Gaurav Kalra was the sports editor of CNN-IBN. Through ESPN.in, we have them back on their old stomping grounds.

play
1:20

ESPN.in: Definitely Indian; Distinctly ESPN

A preview of what to expect from the newly launched multisport site ESPN.in.

And we have added Debayan Sen, whose 13-year career in television and radio has covered every sport played on Indian soil, and whose knowledge of Indian sport is encyclopedic. Between them, they have covered multiple Olympics, football and cricket World Cups, tennis Grand Slams and many Asian and Commonwealth games.

For a foretaste, read Sharda's riveting exploration of the high-profile and off-the-mat wrestling match between an Olympic hero and an aspirant who has won the right to represent India at the Games. If you make up your mind about which of Sushil Kumar or Narsingh Yadav should go to Rio, let us know.

Since, like you, we know where the world is headed, the site is built on a firm mobile-first approach, with a minimalistic and elegant layout (we know that you don't like clicking on navigation tabs on your phone), and content flowing river-like in a limitless scroll (we know that you like scrolling). Ease of access is our focus: the stories are stacked up sequentially, and you can read or watch as much as you like without ever leaving a page.

And we are delighted to let you know that the app that replaces the existing ESPN app in this region is the company's first ever fully localised offering outside of the United States. You can download it for Android here, and for iOS here.

play
1:20

ESPN.in: Definitely Indian; Distinctly ESPN

A preview of what to expect from the newly launched multisport site ESPN.in.

Our mission in India is the same as it is elsewhere: to serve sports fans anytime and anywhere. The birth of ESPN.in was only a matter of time. Our promise is that it will be the best of both our worlds. Definitely Indian and distinctly ESPN.

play
1:20

ESPN.in: Definitely Indian; Distinctly ESPN

A preview of what to expect from the newly launched multisport site ESPN.in.

Let's watch India, and the world, play.