IPL 2023: Knockout round between Star Sports and JioCinema begins

With the commencement of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 on Friday, media and entertainment industry is more curious about the battle being fought away from the ground

BestMediaInfo Bureau
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IPL 2023: Knockout round between Star Sports and JioCinema begins

As the much-awaited Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 is set to begin Friday, Disney Star and JioCinema will enter another round of fierce battle to capture the attention of cricket fans and advertisers across India. 

With IPL media rights divided into two parts – television rights with Disney Star and digital rights with JioCinema – the on-air game has just begun.

Media rights 

While the exclusive TV rights for IPL 2023-2027 went to Disney Star India for Rs 23,575 crore, at the rate of Rs 57.5 crore per game, Reliance-backed Viacom18 bagged the digital rights for Rs 20,500 crore at the rate of Rs 50 crore per game.

Previously, Star India had bought the TV broadcast and digital streaming rights for 2018-22 at Rs 16,347 crore (Rs 54 crore per match). 

Now, the per match price for television and digital media rights stands at Rs 107.5 crore.

Disney Star’s estimated ad revenue from IPL in 2022 was around Rs 4,800 crore while it earned about Rs 1,200 crore from television distribution and digital subscription.

After bagging a slew of sporting rights in soccer (FIFA World Cup, La Liga, Serie A and Ligue1), badminton, tennis and basketball (NBA), this is the first major foray of Viacom18 into cricket. 

Viacom18’s JioCinema tried to disrupt the market by offering the tournament’s 2023 season free to the viewers. While this move has the potential of opening the floodgates of viewers and eventually increase its audience base, industry is curious to know the viewers’ response after JioCinema starts offering the tournament on subscription basis from the next season.

Digital still has a long way to go before it beats TV in “live” sports

Elara Capital’s Karan Taurani told ET Now Swadesh on Wednesday that digital’s share in IPL revenue could go up from 25% to 30-35%. 

“The major reason for this increase is that the tournament has been made free on JioCinema. Sports is a very compelling genre and people like to enjoy matches on large screens. If smart TV numbers are just 15% of the entire TV household, it would be difficult to bring big numbers when it comes to ad revenue. People watch games on mobile but that’s not consistent and hence the time spent is very low compared to television,” said Taurani.

“If there is any threat to the TV from digital, it would come after three to five years as TV continues to offer a strong mass proposition,” Taurani added.

Rajiv Dubey, Head of Media, Dabur, had also rooted for the might of TV over digital when it comes to sports. He said, “When it comes to sports, my stance is that TV always remains the preferred medium other than the people who are on the go and prefer to watch sports on a mobile phone or other devices.” 

Shashank Srivastava, Executive Director, Sales and Marketing at Maruti Suzuki, also believes that TV will remain the preferred platform for advertisers investing in sports.

Star Sports’ game plan for IPL 2023

Star Sports planned to bring over 100 cricket experts to create customised regional content with over 10 language feeds, which will be aired on over 22 channels across the Disney Star Network.

The platform is building up to delivering a scale never seen before and brands will be looking forward to leveraging its scale in IPL 2023, according to the sources. 

Moreover, Disney Star is targeting 90 million viewers on HD with the launch of new HD channels - Star Sports Tamil HD and Star Sports Telugu HD- , empowering big IPL viewership in southern markets with high-definition feed. 

Disney Star to broadcast 12 IPL matches on FTA channel Star Utsav Movies

Disney Star recently announced that it will broadcast 12 IPL matches for free on its free-to-air (FTA) channel Star Utsav Movies in 2023. This is the first time Disney Star will telecast IPL on its FTA channel, which reaches over 200 million viewers. The move is expected to give a boost to its viewership in the rural market.

Star Sports’ experts panel for commentary in IPL 2023

Star Sports has announced its star-studded panel of commentators that features some of the most decorated players.

Cricket aficionados can tune in to watch two T20 World Cup winning captains Paul Collingwood and Aaron Finch, the latter having played for nine IPL franchises, providing a captain’s perspective. Joining them will be former England and IPL legend Kevin Pietersen.

Danny Morrison will also be seen on Star Sports’ coverage of IPL 2023. One of the greatest all-rounders and former IPL coach Jacques Kallis is also making his debut on Star Sports’ panel.  The Star Sports panel will also boast of legendary Indian openers with contrasting batting and commentary styles - Sunil Gavaskar and Virender Sehwag. Adding to the diversity and stature to the broadcast ranks will be Mithali Raj, one of the greatest women cricketers of all time. Four-time IPL and two-time World Champion Harbhajan Singh will be joined by winner of the first-ever IPL title Mohammad Kaif, among others.

JioCinema’s star-studded expert panel for IPL 2023

Similarly, JioCinema also announced the onboarding of a number of superstars on its Expert panel for the 2023 edition of IPL. This comes after the digital platform roped in cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar, former India captain MS Dhoni and World No.1 T20 batsman Suryakumar Yadav.

IPL champions, title-winning mentors, all-time stats leaders and future hall-of-famers like Suresh Raina, Chris Gayle, AB de Villiers, Anil Kumble, Robin Uthappa, RP Singh, Eoin Morgan, Parthiv Patel and Scott Styris will headline JioCinema’s expert panel.

The panel will be bringing fans a comprehensive, immersive, and in-depth coverage of the 2023 edition across 16 feeds. Joining them would be a battery of superstars - including Zaheer Khan, Brett Lee, Graeme Smith, Graeme Swann among others. 

JioCinema’s 360-degree VR feed and gamification feature

Apart from 4K streaming, multiple camera angle viewing and gamification features, JioCinema has at least something to offer to everyone, including various devices scheduled to be rolled out gradually in different price ranges. 

The new key features and devices include: Chat feature for viewers, key highlights access on the timeline, multi-angle viewing and hype mode, play along feature, Jio Media Cable, 360-degree immersive button within the JioCinema app, Jio Dive-360 degree VR device, Jio Glass.

Reliance-owned 3 MSOs moved Star Sports from base pack to higher packs 

What started in the garb of a fight between cable operators and broadcasters over the new tariff order (NTO 3.0) in January was just a precursor to the attempts to disrupt the television broadcasting of IPL.

Reliance-owned three large MSOs – GTPL, Den Network and Hathway – have moved the IPL’s TV rights holder Star Sports from the base pack to higher packs starting April 1. A distribution veteran told BestMediaInfo.com that Reliance is relentless in hurting Star by resorting to 'anti-trade' practices as the broadcaster has been singled out and meted with differential treatment. 

“But it cannot be predicted who will bleed as a result of this fight,” the veteran said.

Advertisers intimidated as Star, JioCinema fight rages on

An intense war for IPL advertising revenues between the television and media rights holders is proving to be a deterrent for many advertisers, said highly placed industry sources.

“The way things are playing out, many advertisers would not want to get into this slugfest or be seen taking a side and hence may exit. Many of my clients have said no to IPL advertising for this reason. And this is a big loss to the great property and the industry, in particular, television,” a top media planner told BestMediaInfo.com.

Ad revenue booked by Star Sports and JioCinema before the start of IPL 2023

The television rights holder of the tournament has already signed advertising deals worth Rs 2,000 crore and is expecting another Rs 1,000 crore in the next two months, a top media planner told BestMediaInfo.com on Wednesday, adding that it is in stark contrast to the Media Partners Asia (MPA) report predicting Star Sports revenues from IPL falling to Rs 1,800 crore in 2023 from Rs 3,600 crore in the previous season.

The largest share of advertising on both digital and television mediums for IPL comes from GroupM agencies. At the same time, IPG Mediabrands handles television advertising at par with GroupM. Highly placed sources in GroupM told BestMediaInfo.com that they do not share numbers as a part of their company policy but said that the split between both mediums is largely the same as last year.

Dentsu India and Publicis Media agencies handle a significant portion of digital advertising for IPL.

Upon being asked about a ballpark figure, an industry veteran told BestMediaInfo.com that all the top four agencies put together have booked digital inventories in the region of Rs 700-750 crore so far with GroupM alone buying one-third of the inventories on JioCinema.

Disney Star roped in 13 sponsors for IPL 2023

Disney Star stated that it has onboarded 13 sponsors including Dream11, Asian Paints, Thums Up Charged, Airtel, Cadbury Dairy Milk, Mountain Dew, Parle Biscuits, Kamala Pasand, Rupay, Britannia, Tata Neu, Jindal Panther, LIC.

JioCinema onboarded 21 sponsors for the league

JioCinema has onboarded Dream 11 as the co-presenting sponsor. Three co-powered by sponsors are JioMart, PhonePe, Tiago EV and 17 associate sponsors include Appy Fizz, ET Money, Castrol, TVS, Oreo, Bingo, Sting, AJIO, Haier, RuPay, Louis Philippe Jeans, Amazon, Rapido, Ultra Tech Cement, Puma,Kamla Pasand and Kingfisher Power Soda.

JioCinema or Star Sports: Who is winning the ad campaign race for IPL 2023?

BestMediaInfo.com reached out to various agency professionals to get an understanding of what are they thinking of the two ad campaigns rolled out by JioCinema and Star Sports for TATA IPL 2023 and found out that it is the JioCinema’s ‘satire on the redundancy of appointment viewing’ ad that seems to have mustered the adland’s keen interest and mindspace.

Below are the links to the TVCs for IPL 2023: 


Star Sports-

On the other hand, Star Sports has also released its second promo as well, featuring cricketer Virat Kohli with a clarion call- ‘Har Ghar Banega Stadium’ and bringing to life the IPL fan cohort called ‘Shor Squad’ who feel that IPL is best enjoyed with grandeur and ‘Shor’.

Virat Kohli urges the public to transform every house to a stadium for IPL 2023-


IPL brands advertisers Disney Star JioCinema ad campaigns Viacom18 Star Sports sponsors IPL 2023 IPL roundup