Star India uses IPL to attract subscribers to online sports service
Star India, one of the country’s foremost broadcasting networks, is using cricket’s Indian Premier League and other premier sporting tournaments, to attract customers to a new subscription service it has just launched.
Hotstar, Star’s on-demand video platform, has launched its new subscription service Hotstar VIP three days before the 12th edition of the IPL begins.
Hotstar VIP will offer audiences content such as the IPL (to which Star holds domestic rights), the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup, and soccer’s English Premier League.
Existing subscribers to Hotstar’s All Annual Sports Plan will automatically be upgraded to the new service for no extra charge, while those without an existing Hotstar package will pay Rs365 ($5.31) a year, according to an official Hotstar statement.
Hotstar is already India’s largest streaming platform, covering many of the world’s largest sporting events and having so far attracted more than 350 million followers ever since launching in 2015.
Elsewhere in IPL news, the Delhi Capitals franchise will now be officially sponsored by Apollo Tubes Limited, an Indian manufacturing company, for this year’s IPL.
The Apollo logo will feature on the back of the players’ shirts during the season, and Apollo will also be organising activation sessions, including meet-and-greet days with players, at points throughout the season.
The Delhi Capitals are a re-branded team, having previously been known as the Delhi Daredevils. They have never won the competition, and last reached the semi-finals in 2012. Other team sponsors include Coca-Cola, Daikin (air conditioning solutions) and Fortis Healthcare.
Meanwhile, the Kings XI Punjab franchise is still without a title sponsor for the season. The franchise is now said to be valued at less than half of some of its competitors because of its failure to attract a sponsor.
Kent RO, the water purifier brand that sponsored the team last season, has declined to renew this year. Some sources have suggested that the failure to find a title sponsor so far is attributable to the franchise never having won the competition, as well as what is perceived as a lack of iconic, marketable players in the current squad.
The 2019 IPL, which will be contested by eight teams, starts on 23 March and ends with the final on 12 May.