This IPL season, it’s advantage fans! Experts predict surge in viewership, likely to topple FIFA record. Here’s why?

The IPL 2023 brings a huge advantage for fans. This year, the matches will be available for free on JioCinema, which is expected to boost viewership. Previously, the viewers had to subscribe to Disney Hotstar to watch the event. And owing to the free streaming, the advertisers anticipate a record-high viewership this year.

A Moneycontrol report suggests, this year there will be a significant increase in viewership to around 550 million, up from 2022’s 300 million. 

Similar trends were witnessed last year during the FIFA World Cup, demonstrating the potential of making sports events more accessible to a wider audience. JioCinema experienced a surge in users in November 2022 when the first match of the 2022 FIFA World Cup became available to stream for free. 

In fact, 32 million viewers tuned in to JioCinema on the final day of the FIFA World Cup Final. Over 110 million viewers consumed the content on digital, making India one of the highest digital viewership markets for the FIFA World Cup.

RIL’s cable firms all out to compete with Star

Meanwhile, three major multi-system operators (MSOs) in India, Hathway Cable & Datacom, DEN Networks, and GTPL Hathway, are threatening to remove Star Sports channels from their base packages ahead of the IPL.  

Reliance Industries, which is the digital media rights holder for IPL, has a majority stake in DEN and Hathway, and an indirect 28% stake in GTPL Hathway. 

GTPL Hathway’s website indicates that its base pack, the Power Lite Pack, will no longer include Star Sports channels starting from April 1, 2023. A Disney Star source confirmed the development, calling it a pressure tactic and stating that distribution teams are currently negotiating with the MSOs, a Mint report had cited

Jio introduced a new plan ahead of IPL

Jio has launched new Cricket Plans for both new and existing users. These plans offer unlimited True-5G data for watching live matches in 4K across multiple screens, along with 3GB/day and free data vouchers for seamless streaming. The plans are designed for an immersive cricket experience.


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