Earlier this year, Star India won the media rights for broadcasting the Indian Premier League for the next five years by bagging the deal for 16348 crores. With the Indian Premier League not very far away, the channel is busy strategizing their plans to maximize viewership in the league which will feature in its eleventh edition next year.
“The IPL is the biggest property in India and the challenge we had in front of us was to reimagine it and more importantly scale it up. From two languages in 2017, we will be taking it to 6 languages in 2018 across 10 channels. And when I say 6 languages, I mean six different feeds, each with localized packaging, commentary and pre/post programming,” says Star India MD Sanjay Gupta. Gupta says that the investment scaling up the property is huge, “but nothing compared to Rs 55 crore a match (in rights fee).” quoted by Sanjay Gupta, MD of STAR India.
“I think with a longer calendar for the IPL and six language feeds, we are opening the scope for all 200 sports relevant brands and those beyond them too, to advertise on the IPL,” the Managing Director added.
For the first decade of the Indian Premier League, the Sony Entertainment Network took its viewership to an unmatched level during the season alongside broadcasting films on the same channel. Gradually it devised two different channels for Hindi and English commentary which was a plan to garner viewership according to age group and preferred language.
It will be interesting to see what strategies does Star India have in place to garner the same kind of viewership when it gets down to the new season of the cash-rich league.