Television

IPL 2018 gets a makeover with Star India

Rajeev-Sanjay

MUMBAI: IPL 2018 not only has a new destination channel but has changes that have been requested and accepted for the first time.

It all started in September 2017 when Star India won the global IPL media rights for Rs 16,347 crore for the span of five years (2018-22). This is the first time when both the TV and digital rights are with a single broadcaster, which will result in the simulcast of the game without the groaning five-minute delay.

For the first time, IPL will be live on 10 channels and Hotstar. On the digital platform, VR will be a key differentiator and will possibly help Hotstar to keep the fans glued on to it.

For the previous seasons, Sony Pictures Network was airing IPL in two languages Hindi and English on Sony Six, Sony Max and their HD feeds. But Star is planning to telecast it in six different languages English, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Bengali and Kannada. The Kannada channel was still in the works some weeks ago.

Star India recently managed to convince the IPL governing council (GC) to change the timings for the games of the league being held from 7 April to 27 May 2018. The 8 pm game will now begin at 7 pm while the 4 pm game has been pushed forward to 5:30 pm.

Mumbai Indians co-owner Akash Ambani said that the time change will impact the team. "For us it is tough. Because people of Bombay work till 6:30-7 pm. It's going to be impossible making it to a game at 7 pm. You are impacting the revenue. You are impacting the audience coming there. So we are objecting to that," he said to Cricbuzz.com.

IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla told Indiantelevision.com, “We have received the letter from Mumbai Indians. We haven’t taken any decision yet and it will be confirmed shortly.” But a week ago he confirmed to Indiantelevision.com that the timings have been changed.

IPL 2018 will see mid-season transfer after seven games. The players who were not included in the playing 11 can opt for their mid-season transfer to other franchisees.

The IPL GC announced that each IPL franchise can retain a maximum of five players from their respective current squads. Of the five players, a franchise can retain a maximum of three players through retention in lead up to the auction, and a maximum of three players through the right-to-match card during the auction. The other restrictions on player retention are: a maximum of three capped Indian players can be retained, and only two overseas players and two uncapped Indian players can be retained. For the first time, the player retention event was aired on TV and digital. The event was watched by 8.1 million people across the country.

The salary cap for each team for the 2018 season has been increased from Rs 66 crore to Rs 80 crore (approximately $12.4 million). A franchise will be allowed to spend only Rs 33 crore on retentions ahead of the 2018 IPL auction, leaving it with just Rs 47 crore to spend at the auction.

The Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Ministry is working on a proposal to make IPL available on Doordarshan and has asked the Sports Ministry to weigh in on the matter.

The move will mean that Star India will have to share the live feed of the tournament with public broadcaster Prasar Bharati under the Sports Broadcasting Signals (Mandatory Sharing with Prasar Bharati) Act, 2007. Prasar Bharati runs Doordarshan and All India Radio. For this IPL will have to be categorised as a tournament of national importance at par with events like Olympics, Commonwealth Games and Wimbledon.

Star India, for the first time, has also thought of starting international fan parks for the IPL and cricket lovers around the globe. Fan Parks were launched in 2015, initially in 16 cities. The 2017 edition of the Fan Park was held in 36 cities in 21 states, bringing fans across the length and breadth of India closer to their beloved sport. These included 14 new cities, like Bhubaneswar, Bareilly, Kochi, Ludhiana, Tumkur and Nagercoil which hosted the Fan Park for the first time.

For the first time, fans were given a chance to vote for their favourite players on vivoiplelection.hotstar.com as a part of the ‘Election se Selection’ campaign on the network. The campaign, according to Star India MD Sanjay Gupta, received more than one lakh votes in less than 12 hours of its launch. Ajinkya Rahane and Krunal Pandya emerged as fan favourites after the final voting count before the auctions.

Also read:

Star ushers in IPL's new era with a bang

IPL auction: Gayle to play for KXIP, Unadkat most expensive Indian player

Star India gets IPL to change match timings for 11th edition

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