Broadcasting major Star India is expecting a viewership of 700 million across TV and digital platforms during the upcoming season of IPL T20 as it has plans to telecast matches live in six languages besides its OTT platform Hotstar, said a top official.
The company also has plans to monetise advertisement revenue by involving more and more regional brands.
It is expecting the new channels to open a new revenue stream, which in turn would also help small regional companies to be associated with the live IPL broadcasting.
"The strategy is democratisation by making availability of IPL to every brand in this country. You can be only brand in Tamil Nadu and come on IPL or be a national brand on IPL.
You can put your money only on Hotstar and digital or you can put only on TV in Hindi on IPL," Star India Managing Director Sanjay Gupta told reporters here.
The regional languages, in which Star would beam the IPL matches include Kannada, Tamil, Telugu and Bengali besides the regular Hindi and English.
"We already have star sports Tamil, which is a new channel. In Telegu, Kannada and Bengali, we are evaluating the options that whether it would be a new channel or the current one, that's a call to be taken but there would be six new unique channels which would carry IPL this year," he said.
According to him, till now up to 50 brands could participate in this, but now it would provide a much larger platform because Star wants to make it as a big platform for the viewers and advertisers.
"It would be now available to a larger number of brands because IPL also needs more brands to participate. Today, it is very limited and only 30 to 50 brands participate," Gupta said, adding that more brands need to come "which would pave the way for future monetisation".
On being asked as how many brands would come with Star on IPL, Gupta said: "We don't know. We would know only at the end of year but our attempt would be to multiply the number." STAR India has bagged the broadcast and digital rights of the Indian Premier League (IPL) for the next five years for a whopping bid of Rs 16,347.50 crore.
On revenue expectations, Gupta said: "Our real focus is to get 700 million fans. Revenues would come but the focus on revenue would be after the first year."
According to him, the advertisement rates would be different for the channels from the main one, depending on their reach.
"Each channel depending on its reach and other things, the rates get decided. There are different rates for different thing as Star Vijay rates would be different from STAR plus," Gupta said.
Furthermore, Star India will stream Vivo IPL on Hotstar in Virtual Reality, which would be probably first time in the sports broadcasting in India.
"This immersive VR experience will make it possible for fans to come closer to the high-octane matches within the comfort of their homes. Moreover, viewers will also be able to select camera angles and commentary language of their choice, offering further customisation," the company said.
(This article has not been edited by Zeebiz editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)