Mumbai: Star India has unveiled its plans for IPL 2018 with its reimagine 2018 info graph launched yesterday. The Network aims to reach over 700 million viewers in the IPL 2018 season by means of deep local penetration through its 10 sports channels and by offering a superior viewing experience on its OTT platform Hotstar.
Star India aims boost the viewership from the existing level of 550 million to 700 million with seven different live feeds, both on TV and digital each. There will be six language feeds and a Super Fan Feed on Star Sports Select in English. On the digital front, unlike the previous seasons when there was a five minute delay, Star’s over-the-top (OTT) service Hotstar will stream the matches live from the next season. This is because Star holds all media rights for the property.
In order to establish a strong local connect with the regional audience across India IPL 2018 will be aired in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Bengali, in addition to English and Hindi.
“IPL will bring to the fore the power of sports and the power of technology in 2018. This is the biggest content property on TV and other screens. It has been built well over the last decade and has grown dramatically. We believe IPL can be re-imagined completely to grow even faster and more dramatically over the next five years as Star takes charge of it. The scale of investment and ambition is being put behind making IPL work in different languages for different consumers,” said Sanjay Gupta, Managing Director, Star India.
Star India won the television, digital, Indian and global media rights to IPL for the next five seasons for Rs. 16,347.50 crore in September 2017.
“One of the things that we have learnt over the past decade or so as we moved from Hindi entertainment to regional entertainment is the power of language and localisation in the business. That is something that has helped Star and kept Star in very good stead. We have become a much larger organisation as we started investing in making our drama content local in many languages beyond Hindi. We want to apply the same learning and thinking to sports,” Gupta said.
The cumulative reach of IPL 10 on Hotstar for the months of April and May across the 60 matches played was 130 million while the reach on TV was 410 million.
While, the company has already started ad sale conversations with brands for IPL 11 which starts in April 2018, the market sentiments remains negative due to the continuing the dull phase due to the impact of DeMo and GST. The average selling rate of of IPL 2018 is expected to be around Rs 8.5 – 9 lakh per 10 seconds, but currently, the advertisers are on wait and watch mode.