IPL 2024: Disney Star Captures Massive 168 Million TV Viewers on its Incredible Debut Day!

Disney Star Captures Massive 168 Million Tv Viewers: Read More

Disney Star achieved its highest ever opening day television viewership for the Indian Premier League (IPL), as 168 million viewers tuned in to watch the opening match between the Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bengaluru.


  • The broadcast attracted a staggering 168 million viewers, with an unprecedented 61 million tuning in simultaneously.
  • On the first day of the tournament, viewers collectively watched an astounding 12.7 billion minutes of Star’s coverage.
  • To cater to viewers with hearing impairments, the broadcaster provided special feeds, and they also utilized AI technology to translate audio into various languages.
  • Disney acquired the domestic television rights for a whopping I₹ 23,575 crore (US$2.83 billion).

The IPL is currently in its second year of the media rights cycle with Disney Star, Viacom18, and Times Internet. These partnerships are set to last until 2027.

Disney Star holds the exclusive live television rights for the tournament, although they did not secure the streaming rights in the most recent auction, which went to Viacom18, a subsidiary of Reliance Industries.

Viacom18 offers ad-supported coverage of the IPL on mobile devices, attracting a significant number of viewers. The opening game alone saw 111 million viewers accessing the coverage through JioCinema, marking a 51% increase from the previous season. In total, viewers spent 6.6 billion minutes watching the IPL on Viacom18’s platform.

While pay-TV seems to be the more popular choice for IPL viewership, there are concerns about the long-term sustainability of subscription-based television in a market where streaming is gaining popularity and mobile data is more affordable and accessible than fixed-line connectivity.

The loss of digital IPL rights had a significant impact on Disney’s Hotstar streaming service, resulting in a loss of over a third of its subscription base. As a result, Disney plans to merge its Indian business with Reliance’s broadcasting division in a deal worth US$8.5 billion.

A spokesperson from Star Sports, a subsidiary of Disney Star, expressed gratitude to the fans, partners, and the BCCI for their support in growing cricket and the IPL. They believe that the IPL’s popularity on TV reaffirms the unmatched ability of live cricket to attract audiences and are committed to delivering an exceptional viewing experience.

Looking ahead, the merger between Disney and Reliance Industries’ Indian broadcast operations is expected to be finalized by the end of 2024 or early 2025. The 2024 IPL final will mark an important milestone in this process.

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