Star India to target IPL 2018 reaching 700 million fans

Indo Asian News Service / 17 January 2018
Prasar Bharti

Gurugram, Jan 17: Indian Premier League’s (IPL) new broadcaster Star India on Wednesday said it is targeting an unprecedented reach of 700 million Twenty20 cricket fans across TV and Digital platforms.

Sanjay Gupta, Managing Director, Star India, said at a press meet that through multiple attractive initiatives, they will try their best to ensure that the 2018 edition of IPL can better the last edition which had attracted 535 million fans.

“Over its 10-year journey, the IPL has grown into the single biggest property by far on Indian television. And now that it is on the Star India network across both, television and digital, we are set to use the confluence of technology, consumer insight, and experience in cricket coverage, to broaden the outreach and experience even further,” Gupta said.

Star India will broadcast live matches of the league in six different languages — Hindi, English, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu and Kannada.

“We feel that in states like Tamil Nadu, broadcasting of the matches in the local language will lure more audience,” Gupta reckoned.

Among other initiatives, Star India will stream stream IPL on Hotstar in Virtual Reality (VR). This immersive VR experience will make it possible for fans to come closer to the high-octane matches within the comfort of their homes. Moreover, viewers will also be able to select camera angles and commentary language of their choice, offering further customisation through the “Super-fan feed”.

In addition, fans will be able to enjoy a social experience on Hotstar with cricket emojis to enhance the viewing and sharing experience.

Gupta clarified that this time there will not be a delay of five minutes when it comes to matches being shown on Hotstar like it did last year.

“We don’t want people to just become fans of IPL, but be part of IPL,” Gupta insisted.

Moreover, for the upcoming auctions, fans for the first time will be able to get their voice heard by voting for their favourite players at vivoiplelection.hotstar.com for ‘Election se Selection’ campaign on the network.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) CEO Rahul Johri was optimistic the the brand of IPl will further grow under the platforms of Star India.

“Over the last decade, the BCCI has transformed the Indian Premier League from a radical new idea into India’s biggest sporting phenomenon and despite the scale of its success, the sky remains the limit for the VIVO IPL 2018. 

“In Star India, we have a partner that not only believes in the immense potential of the IPL, but also believes in pushing the boundaries of sports broadcasting, which gives it the power and ability to take the IPL to even greater heights. 

“With even richer content across a six-month entertainment calendar, we are happy it will delight a much larger number of cricket lovers across the length and breadth of India.”

The player’s auction on January 27 and 28 will also be broadcasted live.