Almost one week ahead of the planned release of viewership data on April 19, Star India has announced that the opening game of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018 has grabbed 6.355 million Impressions (India Urban, Males 15+AB). The pre-launch of data has taken everybody by surprise, though it has been released through the BARC BMW software through a special service called BARC Preview.
The opening game was played on April 7 between Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings, the latter re-entering the tournament after two years of ban, which was imposed after the eighth edition of IPL. All matches of IPL 2018 will be simulcast on 10 channels, including Star Sports 1/ HD; Star Sports Select 1/ HD (English); Star Sports 1/ HD (Hindi); Star Sports 1 Tamil (Tamil) along with Suvarna Plus (Kannada); Jalsha Movies (Bengali) and Maa Movies (Telugu).
According to a press statement by Star India, IPL 2018 recorded 42 mn reach on opening day on Hotstar. This record has since then been surpassed on Tuesday, April 10, by the CSK vs KKR game setting a new global record in sports viewership on digital with 5.5 Mn simultaneous viewers.
Sanjay Gupta, Managing Director, Star India, said, “We were confident our multi-lingual, interactive and technology-driven presentation across TV and digital would resonate strongly with IPL fans across India. As the tournament progresses, we look forward to delivering even greater all-round value to all stakeholders.”
Rahul Johri, Chief Executive Officer, Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), said, “It’s going to be a great tournament with some fantastic cricketing action for the fans who can enjoy the games in six languages, live across TV and digital for the first time. As always, we are seeing a tremendous response from both stadiums and fan parks and the atmosphere across the country has been very encouraging.”
The league is also using virtual reality to bring live action from the stadium to the fans at home. Along with dedicated language feeds, the network also has the Star Sports Select feed, #SelectDugout, which is an offering for the ardent cricket fans who like to stay ahead of the game. It received a positive response from fans who appreciated the presence of legends and the quality of analysis and its overall presentation available across cable and DTH.