Star Sports has created a grand media spectacle out of the customary player retention event for the Indian Premier League 2018. The maiden broadcast of the IPL player retention exercise in the decade-long history of the league has generated TV audience and ratings enviable to many a sporting events.
The IPL 2018 Retention event, broadcast for the first time in its 10-year history, had cricket lovers riveted across television sets and mobile devices and set social media abuzz with mentions and conversations that came close to rivalling those of full-fledged T-20 India matches.
Star India’s presentation of the VIVO IPL Retention event was viewed by a massive, never-before audience of 8.1 million across both TV and digital, according to information shared by the official broadcaster for the VIVO IPL.
As per BARC data (Source: BARC 2+ U+R) 4.1 million TV viewers watched the event across the Star Sports Network from 7 pm to 8 pm on 4th January. Another 4 million watched the event on Hotstar.
On social media, the event dominated conversations across platforms with 35 thousand mentions making the IPL Retention day comparable to the chatter during a T20 match. It was trending #1 in India on Twitter within no time.
Rahul Johri, Chief Executive Officer at the Board of Control for Cricket in India, said, “The discovery and nurturing of great cricketing talent and developing the cricketing infrastructure throughout the country, are important pillars of our mission at BCCI.
Therefore, a quantum increase in the growth and popularity of the VIVO IPL 2018 would immensely scale up deliveries on those important fronts. We are delighted that with the transformative technology and the might of TV and digital combined, the VIVO IPL 2018 seems poised to be bigger than ever before.”
Sanjay Gupta, Managing Director, Star India, said, “The unprecedented response to the retention event across TV and digital is early proof of what Star’s scale and Hotstar’s technology possibilities can accomplish. By offering the VIVO IPL to cricket fans lovers through both, the Star Sports network and Hotstar, Star India will be with the consumer at every viewing opportunity, unleashing enormous convenience and richness of content for the consumer and the advertiser.”
Star has plans to grow the two-month VIVO IPL into a 5-month extravaganza of viewing delight of cricketing action and glorious entertainment, and the IPL Retention was just the first beginning of the great things to come.
Star will also use its technological prowess to power unique and first-of-their-kind viewing experiences by enabling first-time-live-on-digital, check-ins and live scorecards on handhelds for truly immersive engagement of consumers.
The Star network has plans to make the VIVO IPL resonate even more closely with cricket lovers across major regional markets in the country. Star will make it a deeply local experience by adding four more languages – Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Bengali – which will allow cricket lovers in various regional markets to enjoy their favourite passion sport in their first language.
The broadcaster is working on to establish IPL as “India ka Khel” akin to what NBA has been for the USA, the Premier League to England or Australian Rules Football to the Tasman nation.
Star will be airing the league in as many as 6 languages on 10 star sports channels and Hotstar will reach its biggest audience ever.