IPL 2018: Star’s multi-language strategy pays, 22% audience from regional push

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Gone are the days of two language sports feeds in India. Broadcasters are going full throttle to exploit the regional markets by telecasting multi-lingual broadcast of the matches and the results are there to be seen.

Star India, the official and exclusive broadcaster for the Indian Premier League, betted big on the regional push for the IPL 2018. They pumped big monies to market and produce the regional language feeds.

The aggressive approach witnessed IPL broadcasted in 6 languages, including Hindi, English, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Bangla, across 10 network channels. The Grand Finale on May 27 was broadcast on 17 Channels with the live feed in eight different languages. Star Sports 1 English, Star Sports 1 HD English, Star Sports 1 Hindi, Star Sports 1 HD Hindi, Star Sports 1 Tamil, Star Sports 1 Select SD English, Star Sports 1 Select HD English, Star Plus SD, Star Plus HD, Star Pravah SD, Star Pravah HD, Star Gold SD, Star Gold HD, Star Suvarna Plus, Star Maa Movies, Star Jalsha Movies and Asianet Movies created a record for a sports event live broadcast across 17 screens.

There was live feed in eight languages – Hindi, English, Tamil, Kannada, Bengali, Telugu, Marathi and Malayalam.

The result: according to the BARC data analyzed by Insidesport.co, 22% viewership for IPL has come from the regional language feeds. The numbers establish how Star has been able to penetrate into and open the regional markets better than previous editions of IPL on Sony.

According to the numbers released by Star India, IPL Season XI clocked 1.4 billion total impressions during the entire season, growth of almost 15% in comparison to what 1.2 billion impressions clocked during IPL season 10 on Sony Network channels.

So now the moot question, where does this growth come from? Closer analysis of data shows that Star India’s regional language strategy has been a major contributor to these vital gains.

The Hindi language coverage on Star Sports expectedly delivered 54% of total viewership on IPL. English contributed 24% and the rest of the regional language feeds delivered 22% of the total viewership of the IPL Season XI. The contribution of regional languages market during IPL season 10 was less than 8%.

This clearly means Star India’s decision to bet big on the regional languages has paid handsomely as far as growth on the IPL viewership is concerned. The numbers are a healthy indicator to turn this early success into considerable financial gains in seasons to come.