The Indian Premier League’s opening weekend attracted more than 1.47 billion video views on JioCinema, the streaming service controlled by Mukesh Ambani’s conglomerate. The Indian Premier League is a hugely popular cricket competition whose digital rights were purchased by Asia’s richest man for $2.7 billion last year.
According to a statement released by JioCinema on Monday, this year’s inaugural weekend of the annual cricket tournament was the “highest-ever.” It also surpassed the IPL from the previous year and the ICC T20 World Cup in 2022 in terms of video viewers. More than 50 million additional downloads were made to the JioCinema app, which is streaming this year’s games without charge.
The viewership figures support Ambani’s plan, which involved him outbidding other major global entertainment companies like Walt Disney Co. and Sony Group Corp. and spending billions of dollars to secure the IPL’s digital streaming rights for five years. Disney then spent an additional $3 billion to purchase the conventional TV package.
JioCinema gets highest viewership for IPL opener
IPL, often referred to as the Super Bowl of cricket, is one of the most popular athletic events in the world, attracting festival-like crowds and fevered support in cricket-crazy India. Reliance Industries Ltd., owned by Anil Ambani, is hoping that the tournament’s draw will help it join the ranks of online streaming and worldwide media juggernauts.
JioCinema, owned by Viacom18 Media Pvt., a joint venture between Paramount Global and Reliance, is employing a well-known pricing strategy that Ambani has used to establish himself as a dominant player in India’s telecom and retail sectors by making the matches free to view. In addition, Viacom18 is counting on a significant increase in advertising income from the games.
The Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, the largest cricket stadium in the world named after the current Indian premier, hosted the first of this year’s matches on Friday. Each game lasted a comparatively brief four hours. The championship game will take place on May 28.