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Hotstar creates record of 10 mn plus concurrent viewers for IPL finale

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MUMBAI: They helped Hotstar hit a world record for concurrent online viewing a few days ago with 8.26 million viewers in the IPL first qualifier game on 22 May. Once again, the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) helped Hotstar create a new record of over 10 million concurrent users for the Vivo IPL 2018 finale that witnessed CSK’s Shane Watson hit a century and safely take the team to its third trophy.

While Hotstar viewers could see the number hit 10.7 million, sources say that Hotstar will do a thorough check but can safely say that the number is between 10.3-10.7 million. Just for the season, the OTT platform from Star India increased its bandwidth to 10 million concurrent users at a time, with help from technology partner Akamai. A source from Star India says, "The numbers are insane, no other platform can handle the scale which we have achieved. We are going to check and recheck with Akamai regarding the numbers."

As Watson continued to slash through to his ton, viewers kept building up, especially for the last four overs. A sudden hike from eight million to 9.1 million and then to 9.7 million was witnessed before it breached the coveted mark to hit 10.7 million.

The result of the final was the same as the first qualifier. SRH batted first setting a target of 179 runs in 20 overs, but the batting line-up of CSK was ready with all guns firing. The second innings started where the SRH bowlers dominated the powerplay but Shane Watson played the innings of his life scoring 117 off just 57 deliveries. SRH has defended low scoring games of 118 and 132 runs playing against Mumbai Indians and Kings XI Punjab respectively but could not halt CSK’s Watson.

Hotstar, apparently, has played a key role in helping team Uday Shankar and Sanjay Gupta get closer to their revenues. Sources indicate the advertising revenues accruing courtesy the Vivo IPL are in the region of Rs 350 crore. Even rivals acknowledge that it is a landmark figure Hotstar has managed to achieve. To top that is the subscription revenue - guesstimated at around Rs 100 crore - which the streaming service has notched up so far.

Star India has four more seasons of IPL for now and it is surely going to take this success and look forward to beating its own record. For the next season, it will have to increase the bandwidth to accommodate new viewers.

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