12 million viewers streamed India-Australia 1st ODI on Hotstar
New Delhi: The ongoing India-Australia ODI (one day international ) series was off to a flying start in terms of viewership as 12 million unique viewers streamed the match on Hotstar, Star India’s digital platform across 71 overs.
These numbers indicate India’s growing appetite for sports content on the Internet. To be sure, 95% of this viewership streamed the match live on Sunday.
“To me, its the dual screen syndrome, its the chance to watch the match even while you’re not in front of the TV set. We saw the numbers for IPL’s digital rights soar in the recent auctions and this online viewership pie for cricket especially on mobile will only continue to grow. These big numbers pouring in are testimony to that,” said Hiren Pandit, chief operating officer at SE TransStadia Ltd, a sports infrastructure firm.
In the recent auctions for the media rights of the Indian Premier League (IPL) on 4 September, a host of digital bidders made some fairly ambitious bets for the popular T20 tournament’s digital rights which were awarded to Star India.
Official broadcaster Star India declined to comment.
While Facebook had made the highest individual bid for IPL’s Internet and mobile rights for India at Rs3,900 crore, the collective sum of money put by other bidders including Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio added up to Rs13,485 crore.
On Hotstar the online viewership of IPL has shown an upward trend year-on-year with 41 million viewers in 2015, 100 million in 2016, and is expected to have reached a 130 million mark in 2017, according to a report published by Duff & Phelps, a New York-based corporate finance advisory firm.
At present, besides the IPL, Star India has the broadcast and digital rights for all cricket played in India through a deal with Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), for which it agreed to pay Rs3,851 crore in 2012. The deal gave it exclusive media rights to cricket matches organized by BCCI until 2018. Although, the network is contemplating letting go of these rights next year. The BCCI media rights will come up for review in March next year.
In October, Star India also won the audio-visual rights for events organized by the International Cricket Council (ICC), the parent body of world cricket, for a eight-year period between 2015 and 2023, during which two cricket World Cups and two World Twenty20 events are to be held.
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