Hotstar has reportedly opted out of the Indian Premier League sponsorship. Star Sports video on demand platform will thus not be among the IPL 2020 associate sponsors. Hotstar, also the official digital streaming partner of the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s cash-rich franchisee-based league, has reportedly ended its on-ground sponsorship association with the IPL.
Hotstar has reportedly opted to exercise the exit clause to come out of the on-grounds sponsors deal for the league. “There was an exit clause in the deal and Hotstar chose to exercise it,” India Today has reported quoting a BCCI source.
The deal, in place since 2017, reportedly contributed a lion’s share of ₹ 42 crore to IPL’s associate sponsorship purse worth up to ₹ 80 crore.
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The OTT platform will, however, continue to be the digital streaming partner for the IPL. India’s leading digital content streaming platform had created a global record for concurrent digital audience as 18.6 million fans had simultaneously tuned in for the IPL 2019 final. The IPL 2019 has fetched 300 million digital viewers for the Disney-owned OTT platform. The number in 2019 was 202 million.
Hotstar had breached the 10-million mark on numerous occasions during the 50-day season of IPL 2019.
Hotstar’s decision to withdraw is a second major blow to cricket’s sponsorship potential in India, after Oppo had passed on its Team India jersey sponsorship rights to the Byju’s learning app at a major discounted rate. The Chinese smartphone brand, as reported by InsideSport.co earlier, will still be paying up 20-25% of its ₹ 4.62 crore per international match hosted by national cricket boards and ₹ 1.56 crore of the matches hosted by the International Cricket Council and Asian Cricket Council.
This also included the rights transfer fee levied by the BCCI for passing on the sponsorship to Byju’s which will be paying up to 20% less than Oppo’s commercial obligation towards BCCI.