Hotstar bets big on IPL to grow user base in US, UK, Canada

MUMBAI: Star India’s video on demand (VoD) platform Hotstar has taken the onus of showcasing the Indian Premier League (IPL) to fans in US, Canada, and the UK.

While Hotstar will be the only destination for watching IPL 2019 in US and Canada, in UK, the tournament will also be aired on Star Gold UK. With Star taking total control of its property in these markets, the tournament will not be aired on any other platform. Sky Sports and Willow TV had broadcast the event last year in UK and US respectively.

It is worth noting that there has been a change of ownership in Sky. It now belongs to Comcast whereas 21st Century Fox held a significant stake in the company earlier.

Star India took the decision not to give the rights for the IPL to Sky. “It has been confirmed that Star India will exploit the rights themselves this year so Sky will not be covering the IPL cricket in 2019,” said Sky in a statement.

On Twitter, Star TV UK tweeted, “It’s official! Now you can watch IPL 2019 live on Star Gold (Sky 729 & Virgin Media 801) and Hotstar starting 23rd March’19. #VIVO IPL begins March 23.”

With Hotstar, cricket lovers in North America can stream the event live in HD quality and on any device. Hotstar is available on the web (us.hotstar.com and ca.hotstar.com), google play store, app store, as well as on Roku TV, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV Stick and Android TV.

For those who miss the live stream, Hotstar’s video-on-demand feature allows subscribers to replay the match at their convenience or just catch-up with customised highlights of the best moments. Hotstar’s video-on-demand feature makes it the ideal destination for cricket fans in North America.

“IPL has captured the hearts and minds of millions of cricket fans all over the world. We are proud to recreate the signature cricket experience in the homes of passionate fans in North America, bringing them closer to the game. By leveraging our technology, deep consumer insight, and expertise in cricket coverage, Hotstar presents the IPL and all the stories surrounding the famed tournament and its heroes in an immersive and engaging style,” said Star India, Hotstar International president – strategy and incubation Ipsita Dasgupta.

Hotstar said it had set a new world record in 2018 with more than 10 million concurrent viewers logging on to the platform from across the globe to watch the final match of the IPL 2018 tournament. Hotstar expects to exceed that record this year, as the tournament increases in popularity, grabbing eye-balls and capturing the imagination of millions.

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