Star Sports has set the bar really high as the Indian Premier League host broadcaster has re.imagined all the presentation aspects for an all-new season. The IPL season 11, as the action starts on Saturday, April 7, will add many firsts to the league’s illustrious, decade-long history.
Star India, which outbid Sony Pictures India Network to bring home cricket world’s richest and biggest professional competition, has re.imagined the IPL to ensure the new season to be an inflection point in the league history – making the league “deeply local with technology at the heart of the experience”.
While sharing the re.imagine plans way back in January 2018, Star India managing director Sanjay Gupta had said: “Over its 10-year journey, the IPL has grown into the single biggest property by far on Indian television. And now that it is on the Star India network across both, television and digital, we are set to use the confluence of technology, consumer insight, and experience in cricket coverage, to broaden the outreach and experience even further.
“The VIVO IPL 2018 will be a 6-month-long fiesta with new-age technology putting fans at the heart of the experience. We are confident that the IPL 2018, as re-imagined by Star India, will empower viewers, advertisers and the media and entertainment ecosystem of India with greater convenience and viewing pleasure, audience deliveries and all-round growth.”
The year 2018 now is showing the potential to redefine the IPL not just commercially on the strength of its historic media rights and title sponsorship deals, but also in terms of the viewer experience the broadcaster has re.imagined.
The season 2018 is all set to roll out as the IPL of many firsts.
SIX LANGUAGES, 10 CHANNELS: 700 M VIEWERS
For the first time, Vivo IPL 2018 will be connected with a majority of the Indians in their native language – Hindi, English, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, and Bengali, across 10 Star Sports network channels and the OTT platform HotStar.
By leveraging the combined reach of digital and television the tournament will be broadcast, for the first time ever, on multiple TV channels and live streamed on Hotstar with an aim to reach out to 700 million fans across TV and digital in India.
This will also be for the first time in the history of the league, that live action will be streamed simultaneously on television and digital mediums – no more delayed action for the viewers on the move.
HotStar for millions of sports lovers in the country has also launched an annual subscription package of ₹299. The subscribers will have access to the live IPL action on Star India’s OTT platform. The non-subscribers can watch IPL on HotStar for up to 10 minutes, for staying tuned beyond they will be required to pay the subscription.
VIRTUAL REALTY & SUPER FAN FEED
IPL this season will become one of the first few leagues in the world to use virtual reality and to bring live action from the stadium to fan homes. This immersive VR experience would make it possible for fans to come closer to the high-octane matches from the comfort of their homes.
Star Network for the first time in IPL will have a Super Fan Feed with next-gen statistics and the best of global talent for expert analysis which will be available across cable, DTH and on Hotstar. This will be a curated feed for the intense fans who want more than just to watch the game. It may also include features like multiple camera angle options while viewing and data layers about the teams and players during the telecast.
This year Hotstar will go social, creating a world’s first sports viewing experience. Fans will be able to check in and watch games together with their friends. They will also be able to express their emotions through special emoticons specifically designed for the myriad emotions of the cricket fanatic.
COMBINE PACKAGES FOR ADVERTISERS
For the first time, the country’s leading advertisers will be able to use the power of this platform across both Digital and Television to build brands. No longer will they be forced to make the trade-offs and use Television for salience & impact, and Digital for performance, but instead look to seamlessly speak and interact with consumers across screens with the support of advanced consumer analytics.
WATCH N’ PLAY ON HOTSTAR
Hotstar has launched WatchN’Play online game for an engaging experiential facility, which will allow the cricket lovers to guess the result of the next ball while watching the match.
In an initiative to redefine and elevate the experience of watching cricket, Star Sport has launched the skill-based game wherein a user gets to test his or her cricket knowledge and expertise along with millions of other users tuned into the match. The game takes the Indian cricket enthusiasts’ innate behaviour of providing running commentary on player performance and strategy, into an actual game where they stand to win big.
WatchN’Play is conceptualised to take the country’s near-religious passion for cricket, and drive unprecedented engagement by bringing viewers even closer to their favourite game
100-STRONG COMMENTARY PANEL
Never before in the history of IPL, the host broadcaster has employed 100 experts and commentators for a single edition of the league. The 24 commentators for the world feed include the likes of former internationals like Sunil Gavaskar, Sanjay Manjrekar, Murali Kartik, L Sivaramakrishnan. Brett Lee, Matthew Hayden, Michael Clarke, Dean Jones, Simon Doull, Scott Styris, Danny Morrison, Ian Bishop and Pommie Mbangwa are among the international players on the panel.
The world feed commentators also include four former international women cricketers – Lisa Sthalekar, Melanie Jones, Anjum Chopra, Isa Guha. Harsha Bhogle will be the only non-cricketer in the 24-strong panel for the IPL world feed.
Star Sports has curated #SelectDugout for the core cricket fan with in-depth analysis, augmented reality, interesting statistics presented by a panel of select experts.
For the first time ever in sports broadcasting in India, Star Sports Select introduces the #SelectDugout, an experience that will extend beyond traditional commentary, providing fans with a richer analytical experience with a stimulating narrative throughout the season meant for the core fan who would like to stay ahead of the Game!
The Dugout is a hyper-personalised curated offering this IPL season for the cricket fan who wants more. The Select Experience, on Star Sports Select, will provide fans with richer analytical experience coupled with a stimulating narrative during and post matches for a fan who would like to stay ahead of the Game.
85 BROADCAST SPONSORS
Star Sports a week prior to the start of the league has confirmed 85 brands as the broadcast sponsors for the IPL 2018. IPL title sponsors Vivo, Coca-Cola and Jio will be the co-presenting sponsors.
Future Group, Polycab, Parle Products, AMFI, Make my Trip, Vimal Pan Masala, Asian Paints, Dream 11 & Haier are the 9 co-presenting sponsors. The list also includes the names like Vodafone, Amazon, Pepsi Co , Mondelez , Samsung, AMFI, Asian Paints, Berger Paints, Blue Star, Ceat Tyres, Crompton, Dollar, Domino’s, Ford, Haier, Luminous, Pidilite, Sleep Well, Vanessa, Vimal Pan Masala, Voltas, Vivo, Colgate, Amul, Coca-Cola, Dream 11, Elica, Kent, MakeMyTrip, Parle Agro, Parle Products, Polycab, Vu TV, PayTm, Airtel, Nokia, TVS Motors, Tata Motors, Byjus, Naukri.com, Nerolac, Phone Pe, UB, Nivea, MRF, Honda Motors and Scooters, Policybazaar.com, Swiggy, Shaadi.com, Hitachi, HP, Arvind Lifestyle, Titan, Burger King, 99acres, Cars24.com, Magicbricks.com, Mahindra, HMSI, Skoda, Renault, Jeep, Apollo Tyres, Bisleri, ITC, Reckitt, HUL, Pernod, USL, Relaxo and Madhura Garments among others, have taken the roster of brands on Vivo IPL 2018 on the Star Network to 85. Pre & Post match on Star Sports.