STAR India has won the license to digitally distribute Indian Premiere League (IPL) 2014 from Times Internet, the digital arm of the Times of India Group. STAR India will offer streaming and video on demand on Starsports.com, the STAR Sports app, and on mobile operator services powered by STAR Sports. Times Internet holds the global internet rights of IPL.
Since 2011, Times Internet had partnered with Google India to distribute IPL on YouTube. Under the terms of the agreement, Google was a non-exclusive partner for IPL content for two years (2011-13). Last year, IPL witnessed a viewership of over 200 million views.
Launched in June 2013, Starsports.com has introduced several initiatives to redefine the sports experience. It launched a revolutionary video timeline that is a first of its kind in the world of sports, and allows the viewer to keep track of live sports as well as catch up on games with ease. The company has also built an advanced technology infrastructure that enables HD quality streaming across multiple devices.
"At a time when more and more fans are following sports across multiple screens, our aim is to deliver an experience for them that is even better than what is on television. This partnership signals our continuing efforts to transform sports and the digital experience. We want to make IPL the world's largest sporting event on a digital platform this year,'' says Sanjay Gupta, chief operating officer of STAR India.
Satyan Gajwani, CEO, Times Internet, says, "We have been offering our users IPL for three years, and it continues to be a major driver in consumption and brand, recognised as one of the largest online video events worldwide with rapid growth. Our partnership with STAR will enable an even larger reach for the property across digital devices."
In 2011, Times Internet had won the global media rights for the Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket tournament for four years, having bid Rs 261.6 crore. Under the deal, covered are IPL mobile, radio and internet rights, along with broadcast rights for certain territories from 2011 to 2014. Multi Screen Media (MSML), which owns the SET and Max channels, owns IPL broadcast rights in the Indian sub-continent till 2017.