'Aim To Get 4,000 Advertisers For IPL 2024': Viacom18 Sports

'Aim To Get 4,000 Advertisers For IPL 2024': Viacom18 Sports

Last year, JioCinema saw record viewership and advertisers for IPL as it streamed the matches free of subscription.

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Wednesday, February 28, 2024, 04:21 PM IST
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Representative Image | BCCI-IPL

In a step towards popularising digital streaming as the go-to platform in the live sports streaming space, Mukesh Ambani's JioCinema aims to get on board 4,000 advertisers for the Indian Premier League 2024, a massive jump from 800 last year. "Our intent this time is to continue to build on a couple of things. One is that cohorts will increase. We will certainly be putting in a couple of new languages... The second thing we are doing is to deliver superb solutions for advertisers," said Anil Jayaraj, chief executive officer for sports at Viacom18.

JioCinema's Free gamble

"Last year we had 800 plus (advertisers). I am hoping that this year we get about 4,000 advertisers," he said at the India Digital Summit organised by the Internet and Mobile Association of India. Jayaraj spoke about the advantages of a digital streaming platform over traditional television broadcasting, and the increasing popularity of connected televisions, which in turn is fuelling the adoption of over-the-top content streaming platforms. Last year, JioCinema saw record viewership and advertisers for IPL as it streamed the matches free of subscription.

Reliance's digital game

This led to a tussle for viewership, propelling Disney Star, which holds television rights for the tournaments, to broadcast some key matches for free. Viacom18 plans to stream IPL for free this year as well. Reliance Industries-backed Viacom18 had bagged the exclusive digital streaming rights for the league from incumbent Disney Star by bidding a whopping Rs 238 billion for five years from 2023.

This is even higher than the Rs 236 billion paid by Disney Star to retain television broadcast rights. A record 449 million viewers tuned in to JioCinema to watch IPL 2023, not far behind the half-a-billion viewers Disney Star managed to grab on its television channels for the highly-priced tournament. However, Jayaraj said sports consumption in India was still under-indexed compared to other forms of content like general entertainment. The IPL edition this year kicks off on Mar 22.

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