With the Indian Premier League (IPL) just weeks away before it kicks off, BizAsiaLive.com has learnt that the tournament is unlikely to be aired on linear television in the UK.
BizAsiaLive.com sources suggest that the lucrative Twenty20 cricket series will stream exclusively on Star India’s digital platform, Hotstar. This would be the first time in the history of the tournament that it will not broadcast on traditional UK TV. It is worth noting that Star India acquired the global broadcast and digital rights for the IPL for a five-year period starting from 2018.
Previously, the IPL has been been shown on ITV and Sky Sports. The latter showed the series last year, which is why it was expected to air it again in March this year. This however, currently looks unlikely.
This will no doubt give Hotstar a huge push in the UK, which only recently made its launch. With rival digital platforms adding content to entice subscribers, ultimately, a huge property like IPL is expected to do wonders for Hotstar UK. It is also worth mentioning that Star India has been bullish about Hotstar in international markets after pulling the plug of Star TV channels in the USA and Canada recently. It is hoping that the strategy would get viewers to switch over to Hotstar to access Star TV programming.
Hotstar to BizAsiaLive.com confirmed that it does hold the UK rights to stream this year’s IPL.