Times Internet (TIL), the internet and mobile venture of Times Group, said on Wednesday that it was in talks with All India Radio ( AIR) for broadcasting commentary of all Indian Premier League (IPL) matches.
TIL has offered to share revenues equally with the government's radio channel in the tie-up, chief executive officer Rishi Khiani said. TIL is aiming to seal the agreement before the fifth season of the IPL, a T20 format of cricket, which begins on April 4.
A TIL-led consortium paid Rs 261.6 crore last year to acquire IPL's global internet, mobile and radio rights, as well as television rights in some territories for four years. TIL also partnered with Google last year to stream IPL matches on Indiatimes and Youtube.
Around 72 million people in India watched the fourth season of the IPL online, spending on an average one hour and 15 minutes everyday. For the fifth season, online viewers will get an improved viewing experience on a revamped website with new technology.
The new look of the website will feature high-definition streaming of the matches, which will adapt to slow data speeds and bandwidth availability and offer buffer-free viewing.
An interactive score card will show important highlights such as wickets and runs scored.
With the digital video recording feature, viewers will be able to go back to any point in the match and watch important developments. The video-on-demand feature will offer highlight packages such as fours, sixes and face-offs between players occurred during the match. Sponsors will be able to integrate their advertisements to specialise this page.
TIL is creating content to host on the website and has also tied up with seven teams to offer their merchandise on the portal. The company will introduce new pages on news, latest tweets from players, fun facts, player information and interviews, merchandise, statistics, match schedule by team, date and venue.
Users will be allowed to use their own cheerleaders who will appear on the page to cheer on key moments during live streaming of the match.
Times Internet will also introduce IPL Battleground where viewers can participate in live discussions and support their teams.
TIL will spend around $7 million on marketing this IPL season online and has created applications for Android platform, the iPhone and iPad.
Coke, Samsung, Maruti Suzuki, HUL, Hero, Citi Bank, Ebay, Kotak Mahindra Bank and Karbonn Mobiles will sponsor the online broadcast of the 51-day tournament this year.
( via The Economic Times 29/3)