'16 feeds, 12 languages' - IPL 2023 will stream for free on Jio Cinema

The IPL 2023 will be streamed for free on digital platforms across the nooks and corners of India, with Viacom18 planning to reach a wider populace than ever before. 
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Despite the rising interest in the Indian Premier League (IPL) on digital forums, Jio Cinema will be streaming the marquee T20 tournament live across mobile phone and laptop screens for absolutely free, confirmed Viacom18 CEO Sports Anil Jayaraj. 

Jayaraj also revealed that to engage an unprecedented level of audience and to take the IPL to the nooks and corners of the country, there will be "16 feeds across 12 languages". The idea being to make the IPL more of a "regional" sport for the viewers and take it closer to their hearts, minds and conscience. 

There were no specifics offered in relation to the same, and exactly how Viacom18 wishes to execute their plan at a such large scale without seeking immediate profits on a deal they won last year, but Jayaraj told indiantelevision.com in an interview there will be "tech innovations" for the product. 

He said the free-of-charge stream has led to a rise in advertiser interest in the market, especially from FMCG, auto and beverage industries. The eyeballs attracted by the digital content slowly but surely leaving the TV interest behind, there are certain advantages to be taken of this growth, as Jayaraj explained. 

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"We will be doing 16 feeds across 12 languages," Jayaraj told indiantelevision.com. "And we will provide unique experiences like multicam. Advertisers love it for similar reasons but different parameters. The scale that digital offers means that IPL will be bigger on digital than TV."

"Advertisers also love digital in general because you can choose which audience that you want to target. You can target someone in Chennai who speaks a certain language and who is of a certain age group and has a certain level of affluence. You can also measure and have a call to action. That is the reason why digital advertising has been growing quite fast."

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Jayaraj stressed that the idea behind free-to-stream content of IPL matches with multiple language feeds is to reach a wider audience and become in time the "largest aggregator of the audience ever seen". He said the free viewing experience will be evaluated after one season of their deal but for now, the idea is set to leave its imprint on IPL 2023, making it the first season of the league since the inaugural edition, aired on Youtube, to be available for streaming on free. 

"We are trying to build a sports business that delights the Indian consumer and which provides the largest aggregation of viewers. We are trying to ensure through the IPL that we can access anybody who has an Internet-enabled device."

"We will offer the IPL for free at least for this year. We want to be the largest aggregator of the audience ever seen in India. Advertisers will have the choice of viewers that they want to target," Jayaraj added. 

The digital streaming rights for the next five-year cycle of the IPL, spanning 2023 to 2027, were sold by the BCCI to Viacom18 for a whopping sum of INR 23,758 crores.