Chennai Super Kings defeated Gujarat Titans by five wickets (through the DLS method) in the rain-affected rescheduled final of the season at the Narendra Modi Stadium to win a record-equaling fifth IPL trophy.
The IPL (Indian Premier League) 2023’s official digital streaming partner, JioCinema, achieved the record for the most simultaneous viewers of a live event on Monday when over 3.2 crore viewers watched the final of this year’s IPL, which featured Chennai Super Kings versus Gujarat Titans. During Qualifier 2 of the IPL 2023, JioCinema had over 2.57 crore concurrent viewers watching Shubhman Gill’s spectacular century in the first innings between Gujarat Titans and Mumbai Indians.
In July 2019, Disney’s Hotstar, the IPL’s previous digital streaming partner, garnered over 2.5 crore simultaneous viewers for a cricket match, breaking a record that had held unbroken for several years.
Furthermore, on April 17, about 2.4 crore fans gathered at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium to watch M.S. Dhoni’s CSK defend against a high-octane run chase from Royal Challengers Bangalore. This record was reached after breaking the previous one set on April 12 of a peak concurrency of 2.2 crores, when Dhoni nearly pulled off another robbery against the Rajasthan Royals.
JioCinema continues to set worldwide standards in digital sports viewership, with over 1,500 crore video views in the first seven weeks of this year’s IPL. Chennai Super Kings defeated Gujarat Titans by five wickets (through the DLS method) in the rain-affected rescheduled final of the season to earn a record-equaling fifth IPL title at the Narendra Modi Stadium in the 16th edition of the IPL.
In July 2019, Hotstar attracted an amazing 25.3 million simultaneous viewers for a cricket match, breaking a record that had stood for several years. However, as the platform transitioned the IPL streaming service to a paid version, it struggled to meet this standard in the following years, highlighting the difficulty in balancing reach and revenue in the streaming business.
Viacom18 appears to be following in the footsteps of Hotstar and following a similar strategy. In a strategic change last year, the Indian entertainment behemoth, whose largest investor is Ambani’s Reliance, emerged triumphant in a $3 billion bidding fight against Disney, acquiring the digital rights to the tremendously popular IPL for a five-year period until 2027.
Analysts believe that Viacom18’s JioCinema app, as part of its streaming strategy, is allowing free streaming of the tournament to consumers across South Asia, a move that might transform the region’s digital streaming environment.
JioCinema, which also provides Jio telecom network members with free access to its basic programming, recently launched a premium tier. Users can now purchase an annual premium subscription for 999 Indian rupees ($12), which grants access to a greater choice of material.
In recent weeks, Viacom18 has signed agreements with worldwide entertainment powerhouses Warner Bros. and NBCUniversal to make its premium offering more appealing to potential consumers.
Despite the difficulties, Disney has found great success. According to data from the industry association Broadcast Audience Research Council, the worldwide powerhouse, which is broadcasting the game via satellite television in India, received 482 million combined views across the first 66 matches.