The countdown for the upcoming edition of TATA IPL has begun, and broadcaster Disney Star is preparing to make it the biggest ever edition on TV. As the broadcaster begins its second IPL cycle having delivered a reach of 400+ million in past editions, Disney Star aims to reach a viewership of 500 million in the upcoming edition.
Sanjog Gupta, Head - Sports at Disney Star believes that IPL 2.0 for the broadcaster will be the year of positioning IPL on TV as the biggest ever platform in India. “We will make all the efforts to ensure that more people have access to Star Sports. We are launching two premium HD sports channels — in Tamil and Telugu — to service premium audiences, in addition to HD channels in English and Hindi. Last year, we managed to place our sports channels in the base packages of cable operators in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh/ Telangana markets, which has ensured higher reach. We will make IPL the biggest ever on TV,” he said.
He also spoke about how the tailwinds generated from a record-breaking cricket season on Disney Star with Asia Cup (16% higher viewership), ICC Men’s T20 World Cup (25% higher viewership); and India bilaterals (30-40% higher viewership); has built significant momentum for the broadcaster ahead of the IPL season. “Even the IPL auction this year has rated 30% higher than last year. So there is a renewed excitement for cricket and we plan to continue this momentum,” Gupta added.
With IPL returning to stadiums across 10 cities, local marketing initiatives within the regions will ignite passion among fans and viewers, which in turn would dial up viewership across markets. In addition, IPL 2023 will happen after a full year. Its past three seasons were played in a span of 18 months.
Disney Star will be broadcasting IPL 2023 across 22+ channels which commands a network share of over 30% in India. The league will be broadcast across 10+ languages with over 100 experts engaging viewers in ways bigger than ever. We are looking at building and engaging communities and creating content around IPL for different cohorts, from school kids and sports academies at one end to young mothers at the other. We know that viewers like to watch live sports on their TV sets while engaging with friends or family members on their devices. So IPL on Star Sports will give them the same opportunity, in their own language,” Gupta said.
Disney Star plans to leverage over 5000 hours of broadcast prior to the IPL 2023 to promote the league and will launch its marketing campaign mid-February with a 45 lead-up to the tournament.