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Will build TNPL first, monetisation will come later: Star Sports

Buoyed by the success of IPL’s regional broadcast, Star Sports is looking to widen the scope and popularity of regional commentary while bringing cricket closer to the hearts of fans across the country

In an attempt to build the first regional cricket tournament in the country, Star Sports has announced yet another marketing stunt for the Tamil Nadu Premier League. For the first time ever, Star Sports1 Tamil is offering cricket fans once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be a part of the commentary panel of the third edition of TNPL with the sensational #MicUpforTNPL contest.

As the third edition of the TNPL starts, fans can now showcase their talent in Tamil commentary, and win an opportunity to feature as a commentator during a live game alongside Star Sports 1 Tamil experts S Badrinath, Laxman Sivaramakrishnan and Hemang Badani.

With the success of IPL’s regional broadcast in the backdrop, Star Sports is now looking to widen the scope and popularity of regional commentary while bringing cricket ever closer to the hearts of the fans across the country.

Since its inception in 2016, Star Sports has been pushing the boundaries of exposure in the TNPL. A lot of commentators and analysts on TNPL are the ones that were seen on IPL and other international tournaments. But can a regional property like TNPL scale up to that level of maturity in terms of viewership, revenue or stature?

Also, the marketing push for TNPL was also quite high in the relevant pockets of the state. But can a state-level tournament earn these RoIs?

A Star India Spokesperson said, “TNPL is a platform for the local Tamil Nadu cricket players to showcase their talent and it has given us players like Washington Sundar, Murugan Ashwin, and Natarajan who hail from a very humble background but went on to win national acclaim. TNPL is the first regional league in India to have international commentators since its inception in 2016. We have had great responses for international commentators both in terms of quality of commentary and localisation (wearing dothis, making dosas, Dindigul biriyani, interacting with college/ school students, visiting cultural sites, local restaurants).”

As everyone knows and vouches for, Tamil Nadu is not only a state that generates highest viewership on television, it is also a state that has a lot of pride in their language, culture and its people.

“TNPL has been established as the pride of TN in the first two seasons and it has worked. This year, the idea is to take TNPL deeper into Tamil Nadu. We have shown how the entire state contributes in making the heroes of TNPL through our marketing campaign. TNPL has shown great potential in terms of quality of cricket played and an action-packed cricketainment for the Tamil audience. We believe TNPL has the potential to become one of the greatest regional leagues in India and that’s why our marketing push has been significantly large for TNPL.

Right now our mission is to grow TNPL and monetisation will follow,” the spokesperson added.

Star Sports has also tried to build the Karnataka Premier League for which it acquired broadcast rights. The tournament has just finished playing its sixth season and is probably the oldest regional cricket league in India. The broadcast network suggested, “We endeavour to bring international talent to KPL as well.”

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