New Delhi: Star India, the official broadcaster of the Indian Premier League (IPL), is using the might of its entire network to drive viewership of the final match of the T20 tournament on 27 May.

The final match, which will be played at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium, will be aired across 17 channels in eight languages including Star’s Hindi general entertainment channel Star Plus. The network which has been broadcasting IPL in six languages—Hindi, English, Tamil, Telugu, Bengali and Kannada—will also air the final match in Marathi (Star Pravah) and Malayalam (Asianet Movies).

Currently, IPL matches are being broadcast on 10 television feeds of Star India, as well as DD Sports.

“The idea is to make IPL finale a customized entertaining experience for fans who can watch it in the language of their choice," said a senior executive from Star India on condition of anonymity.

The broadcast network has planned a special IPL finale prelude programme on Star Plus “Cricket finals... party toh banti hai" which will bring together celebrities from Bollywood, cricket and the television industry. The two-hour show, to be aired at 5pm just before the live broadcast of the final match, will be hosted by actor Ranbir Kapoor, with dance performances and interactions with celebrities including Salman Khan, Jacqueline Fernandes, Kareena Kapoor Khan and Sonam Kapoor. It will also see participation from young television actors of Star Plus such as Ravi Dubey and Mariyam.

Star Pravah will also host a similar IPL finale special prelude show to be hosted by actor Madhuri Dixit Nene and Swapnil Joshi, interacting with celebrities from the Marathi entertainment industry.

This will be in addition to the ongoing IPL special programmes The Dugout on Star Sports Select and Watch ‘n Play on the video streaming platform Hotstar.

The network has launched its finale-centric marketing campaign “IPL Kaun Jeetega", which is being promoted across television both on Star as well as non-Star channels including news, movies and regional general entertainment channels. It will also leverage radio, digital, print and outdoor advertising to build up interest around the final match.

“Star has always been a smart marketer and it is a smart strategy to air the finale across multi-lingual channels to garner more viewership. I feel their emphasis on regional language is a long-term strategy to increase the appeal and reach of the IPL property manifold," said Sandeep Goyal, media veteran and chairman, Mogae Media, a Mumbai-based marketing and communication agency.

According to the latest data provided by Broadcast Audience Research Council (Barc) India, the total viewership for first 43 matches in IPL 11 stood at 1.02 billion impressions across urban and rural markets. The numbers represent viewers above two years of age who watched the matches across 10 television feeds of Star India as well as DD Sports. Impressions refer to the number of individuals in thousands of a target audience who viewed an event, averaged across minutes.

Star India’s CEO Uday Shankar said in an interview last month that the firm is expecting this year’s revenue from IPL to increase to Rs2,000 crore, compared with Rs1,200 crore that Sony Pictures Network made in 2017. Last year, Star India bought the five-year television and digital media rights for IPL for Rs16,347.5 crore.

Close