The inaugural week of the VIVO IPL 2018 had recorded a historic opening with 371 million viewers on television & Hotstar. The television viewership stood at 288.4 million viewers (BARC 2+ U+R) and a platform reach of 82.4 million viewers on Hotstar. This is the highest ever inaugural week viewership recorded for IPL since its launch, the IPL broadcaster Star Sports has stated in Press release.
Unmatched in its sheer scale, the VIVO IPL 2018 broadcast has been reimagined on the Star India Network offering fans a viewing experience in 6 languages – Hindi, English, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, and Bengali. The tournament is being broadcast on 10 TV channels and live streamed on Hotstar with an aim to reach out to more fans across TV and digital than ever before.
Other firsts for the VIVO IPL include an immersive Virtual Reality experience and Watch&Play on Hotstar providing an unmatched engagement opportunity for fans. Star India has also launched the #SelectDugout on Star Sports Select, a bespoke offering for the ardent cricket fan who likes to stay ahead of the game.
Television reach for the opening week stood at 288.4 million viewers. The epochal number is driven by 30% increase in reach in the South. The audience demographic of Males 15+ AB, Urban registered an impressive 273 Million impressions with a 23% growth versus year ago. The growth recorded was not limited to the core cricket fan with total Urban gross impressions at 854 million at 17% growth versus last year. Interestingly ~40% of the viewers were women, which is a testimony to the universal appeal of IPL.
Hotstar registered a viewership of 82.4 million viewers on the platform with a phenomenal growth of 76% versus last year. With a 5.5 million concurrency during the CSK vs KKR game on April 10, 2018, Hotstar has smashed the global record for peak concurrency on a digital platform for a live sporting event. The record since then been beaten with a peak concurrency of 6.0 million, achieved during the MI vs RCB game on April 17, 2018.
The numbers have been a record for all the 11 seasons of IPL:
- Continuing the surge of the opening day TV viewership growth of 37% the opening week saw a 23% growth versus year ago
- Unprecedented reach of 371 million viewers recorded on Television and Hotstar in Week 1
- Multi-lingual coverage a massive success – Growth in South at 34% versus a year ago
Speaking on the response to the opening week of Vivo IPL 2018, Sanjay Gupta, MD, Star India, said, “We sought to re-imagine the way IPL was presented to fans and are delighted with how fans have responded across both TV and Hotstar, helping us set new viewership and conversation benchmarks. The consumption growth is a truly satisfying yardstick of unmatched fan delight and value for brands. Even though it is early days, this has already become the most watched IPL ever on a tournament to date basis, and we hope to continue to engage fans powered by localization and technology across TV and Hotstar.”