The Covid-19 pandemic and its subsequent lockdown brought the preparations for the 2020 edition of the Indian Premier League tournament to a halt. Its annual April schedule was immediately stopped and left indefinitely delayed. But now the 13th installation of the tournament is finally returning in September 2020.
The largest cricketing league in the world (in terms of viewership), IPL had its 2018 and 2019 seasons covered LIVE by the OTT giant Disney+Hotstar. All subscribers could access the LIVE broadcast of matches along with different sport programs which did match-to-match analysis on the league. But the league won’t be available for all subscribers this year.
Star India (which is a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company India), the owner of Hotstar+Disney has decided not to stream the 2020 edition of the tournament LIVE this year on Disney+Hotstar VIP. Bringing a major change to its business model, the OTT giant has decided to shift the LIVE streaming of the IPL matches from the previously mentioned Disney+Hotstar VIP to Disney+Hotstar Premium.
This will cause a big decline in viewers as the VIP account costs Rs 399 annually while the Premium accounts make subscribers cough up Rs 1499 annually. Or they will have to pay Rs 498 for the two month duration of premium subscription to watch the LIVE broadcast of the IPL season.
But Star India is prepared to take the hit so as to increase its Premium account subscribers. The final between Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings in last year’s edition of the IPL had 18.6 million viewers at its peak which was the highest recorded for any LIVE event in India. The loss in sponsorship revenue will be made up by the subscribers taking up the Premium subscriptions. Those not opting for the subscription platform can watch the League on Star Sports Television.
IPL 2020 will take place in the United Arab Emirates which will begin from September 19th and end on November 10th of this year.
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