afaqs! news bureau
Digital

Live streaming and more of IPL on Indiatimes.com

Along with the regular live streaming of the IPL Season 5 matches, the website has put forward a number of games and applications to involve its visitors. Along with a better viewer experience, IPL-branded merchandise will also be available on the e-commerce site.

Last year, IPL (Indian Premier League) signed Times Internet Limited (TIL) as its official online broadcast partner. The agreement, worth Rs 261 crore, stretches for four years and will continue till 2014. In the second year of the online broadcast rights, TIL has come up with a Battleground page for the fans to fight for their favourite teams or players, to support the favourite or oppose the rival teams. There are different pages for each team and each player.

Live streaming and more of IPL on Indiatimes.com
The website has also joined hands with AIR and Google for live commentary and YouTube streaming, respectively. While the deal with AIR works on ad-revenue share model, the one with Google is a distribution deal (similar to the previous season of IPL). You Tube will use ipl.indiatimes.com's inventory for the same.

Along with this, there is a cheerleader app, video scorecard and a self-controlled timeline, wherein one can select to watch only the sixes, fours or wickets on demand. Live commentary will also be offered through IVR.

The cheerleader app enables the user to pick a cheerleader of his/her choice, from a range that includes a Zoozoo, a cheer girl and several branded cartoon characters. These cheerleaders will pop-up on the screen whenever there is a key moment in the match.

The live streaming is enabled with a feature wherein the user can click on any part of the time-line and watch the part of the match that he/she has missed out. A video score card is also available just below the live streaming, which enables the users to watch only the sixes or fours in the match, while skipping the other shots.

Meanwhile, the company has also tied up with seven of the total nine teams for online sales of their merchandise and other branded products. It will also offer gifts to the viewers on the basis of the way they follow their favourite teams or players on Battleground.

Live streaming and more of IPL on Indiatimes.com
Rishi Khiani, CEO, TIL, says, "We are looking forward to an increase of about 30 per cent in the viewership numbers, which grew by about 70 per cent in the last season. We had about 79 million viewers in IPL Season 4 and we expect to have about 102 million viewers this season. Also, we have already sold about 80 per cent of the total ad pie. Only the slots are left, which are sold on real-time basis when the tournament is on. In some international territories, we plan to make the content available on a pay-per view basis. We intend to give a free-for-all kind of environment for the users, with Battleground and Live Score Card."

The website has got on board Coca-Cola, Maruti and Samsung as its principal sponsors, with deals ranging between Rs 3-5 crore. As associate partners, it has brands such as HUL, eBay and Hero, among others, with deal values in the range of Rs 1.5-3 crore. TIL expects a hike of about 40 per cent in ad revenues over the last season.

The company will also offer apps and streaming for iPads, iPhones and Android devices, with HTML pages for the iPad applications. BlackBerry applications will also be made available, with some charges applicable as per network carriers. It will also release Facebook apps on Open Graph.