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Volume 6 No. 264
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Star India Planning To Telecast Indian Premier League In Six Languages

After spending Rs 16,347.5 crore ($2.4B) on the global media rights of the Indian Premier League for the next five years, Star India "worked out a telecast plan covering six languages, 10 channels and live streaming on Hotstar service," according to Gaurav Laghate of the ECONOMIC TIMES. Star India Managing Dir Sanjay Gupta said, "IPL is the biggest property on television today. It has withstood the challenge of fragmentation and has grown both in terms of viewership and watch time. Most importantly, it is gender and age group agnostic." Star India will focus on localization and technology to increase the base. Gupta: "Sony (the previous rights holder) never saw the power of localization. We believe there is the biggest opportunity. We are going to localize IPL in six different languages." It will be aired in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Bengali, in addition to English and Hindi. There will be an additional feed on Star Sports Select "giving more details around the games." Gupta said, "We built a regional entertainment business over 10 years, which made the company one of the largest players. We are looking at the same expansion in sports, but in one year on the back of IPL. I know it's a humongous task and the whole company has to chip in." On the digital front, "unlike the previous seasons when there was a five-minute delay," Star's OTT service, Hotstar, will stream the matches live from next season (ECONOMIC TIMES, 12/20). LIVE MINT's Vidhi Choudhary reported Star India "aims to reach" more than 700 million people for the '18 IPL season. Star India will have seven different live feeds for IPL on both TV and digital. Gupta: "One of the things that we have learnt over the past decade or so as we moved from Hindi entertainment to regional entertainment is the power of language and localization in the business." Star India has "doubled its viewership share on the back of regional content in both dramas and movies." It has also seen "similar success" with Pro Kabaddi League, in which Star India is a principal owner. Gupta added, "It's been one of the biggest drivers of share gain in Star India over the last eight to nine years" (LIVE MINT, 12/20).