The broadcasting joint venture of Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries said on Monday its JioCinema app saw a record 1.47 billion digital video views on the opening weekend of the Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket tournament, as well as 50 million mobile app downloads.
The number of video viewers for the IPL weekend eclipsed what was recorded across the entire last season of IPL on digital, said Viacom18, which is part of Network18 – the media unit owned by Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance.
Viacom18 won digital streaming rights from 2023 to 2027, for 237.58 billion Indian rupees ($2.89 billion), which Disney previously held.
On the other hand, Disney-owned Star India (DIS.N) which is the official TV broadcaster of the IPL, the world’s richest cricket league, said it saw a total of 8.7 billion minutes of consumption on television for the opening match on Friday between defending champions Gujarat Titans and Chennai Super Kings.
A peak attendance of 16 million viewers was recorded on JioCinema during the match, Viacom18 said.
The landscape for content consumption has increasingly moved “to digital and JioCinema performance this week is the biggest evidence of it,” Viacom18 Sports Chief Executive Officer Anil Jayaraj said in a statement.
Disney Star said in a separate statement that it was witnessing “continuing dominance” of linear Television as the preferred platform for uninterrupted viewing of live cricket.
The comments indicate heated rivalry between Reliance and Disney, which are aiming for a major slice of advertisement revenue at a time when channels are seeing increased spending to push viewership, with advertisers cutting back on spending due to an inflationary environment. Reuters