Riding on the launch of regional sports channels and strong marketing campaign, the IPL 2019 has touched a new height in terms of viewership in the opening weekend.
Around 219 million viewers saw first three matches of IPL across India, which is a 31 per cent jump from last year, said the official broadcast partner Star India in BARC PreView data.
On the opening day match between Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB), the reach in Hindi speaking markets (HSM) grew by 30 per cent to 79 million, whereas in South it witnessed gain of 20 per cent. The reach count was based on view for the minimum one minute.
The average impressions for the same period were 105 million, which is 29 per cent more in comparison to last year figure.
The Star India to increase IPL viewership had made an investment in launching regional channels such as Star Sports in Bangla, Tamil, Kannada, and Telugu.
For the network, localisation strategy is working well. This could be our biggest IPL ever, said Gautam Thakar, CEO of Star Sports adding that the channel learned a lot from hosting last year IPL.
The company has increased the number of channels airing IPL live to 24 from 10 last year. Thakar is optimistic that the current momentum of viewership will only grow further in the coming days.
Star India’s streaming app Hotstar garnered a viewership of 135 million for the first four matches.
Last year, over 10 million concurrent viewers logged onto the platform to watch the final fixture played between Chennai Super Kings and Sunrisers Hyderabad.
In September 2017, Star India had won the television and digital broadcasting rights for five years period for a massive $2.4 billion (Rs 16,348 crore). To beef up its bandwidth and infrastructure to handle concurrent viewership, Star also had put in $192 million in Hotstar.
Since 2017, the consumption of online videos has registered five-fold growth. Indian online video industry is expected to touch $1.6 billion in revenue by 2022, according to Media Partners Asia report.
The development was reported by the Mint