(In pictures: Mumbai Indians Harbhajan Singh with team mates celebrate the wicket of Chris Gayle of RCB during IPL 8 match in Bengaluru.)
Star India, which owns the mobile and internet rights for the popular cricket club property Indian Premier League (IPL), says that it expects to generate nearly 500 million views, from 100 million fans, before the close of the tournament. This is a significant jump from 60 million views, from 28 million fans, in the previous year.
(In pictures: Chennai Super Kings bowler Ishwar Pandey celebrates with teammates the wicket of Mumbai Indians batsman Simmons during their IPL T20 match in Mumbai.)
Star's mobile application ‘Hotstar’ is driving the digital viewership and is streaming all the 60 games of the IPL live. The platform has recorded more than 40 million video views for the first 5 days of the tournament. This is six times the viewership on starsports.com last year. It is a dramatic and unprecedented shift.
(In pictures: Royal Challengers Bangalore Virat Kohli balancing himself after he collided with team mate Dinesh Karthick during IPL 8 match against Mumbai Indians at Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru.)
Star India expects nearly 60 advertisers on Hotstar for the IPL— a little over double from the last season.Almost all the categories had signed up last year as well.
(In pictures: Cheer leaders pose with a fan during the IPL 8 match between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians in Bengaluru.)
IPL Season 8 has garnered a 4.4 average rating for the first five matches, in the cable & satellite homes, 4 plus target group. This is a 41% jump, over a 3.1 rating in the opening week in the last season. The opening match rated 5.4 , up from a 4.4 rating in the previous year —with the same audience parameters in mind. These are the average ratings for the Max, Six and AATH channels.
(In pictures: Ravi Bopara of the Sunrisers Hyderabad plays a shot during their Pepsi IPL 2015 match against Rajasthan Royals in Visakhapatnam.)
Media buyers estimate that Star should be able to clock Rs 70 crore upwards from the digital and mobile rights alone. Gupta says that they have nearly 15 million application downloads currently, and users on an average spend close to 24 minutes a day.