IPL 2018 broadcast set to undergo major overhaul
It has been close to a decade since the IPL was born, but the brand has stayed relevant throughout, maintaining its lofty standards of cricketing excellence with ample dosages of entertainment over the course of the 10 years. The 11th season of the T20 extravaganza is set to go a few notches higher, with new broadcasters Star preparing a comprehensive plan for the coverage of the event, which is set to undergo some major changes.
The coverage will start as early as January, even though the actual event will take place in April-May. The broadcasters have singled out six months exclusively for the event and will have as many as 10 dedicated channels on their network for the event.
Speaking to Rediff, STAR India Managing Director Sanjay Gupta said: "The IPL is the biggest property in India and the challenge for us was to reimagine it and, more importantly, scale it up".
"From two languages in 2017, we'll be taking it to six languages in 2018 across 10 channels. And when I say six languages, I mean six different feeds, each with localized packaging, commentary, and pre/post-programming."
Star India is set to have as many as seven different live feeds for IPL (on TV and digital each). There will also be a Super Fan Feed on Star Sports Select in English.
The Super Fan Feed will be a unique, customised feed for those who want to watch more than the ongoing match. It will give the fans the option of having multiple data layers, with information on players and teams that will be available during the telecast, as well as multiple camera angles to choose from.
The new feature also helps the broadcasters set up a monetizing platform on Hotstar, their major internet broadcasting portal, which will, for the first time, have a live telecast without delay.
"Since this is the first time Hotstar will have live IPL telecast (as opposed to the five-minute delayed telecast till 2017), we also plan to offer the live feed to our premium (paying) subscribers," Ajit Mohan, chief executive officer-digital, Star India told Livemint.
IPL is expected to go ahead with a digital paywall in the 2018 season, although the exact details of the payment, as well as the kind of experience that will be on display, will be determined next year.