Star upgrading cricket coverage on Hotstar app

Pay-television broadcaster Star India is working on a new cricket destination within its Hotstar streaming app, as it continues preparations for the 2020 Indian Premier League season.

Indian media news service Television Post quoted an unnamed source as saying the app would provide the fastest available scores, on-demand video, provide engagement opportunities between fans and commentators, and would be built to ensure that those on slower internet connections would still have a good experience.

The media company is aiming for a reach of 400 million for its IPL coverage on digital platforms this year, up from 300 million last year.

The report did not say if the cricket app would be ready in time for the 2020 IPL season. Star’s coverage this year will include: shows looking at the teams’ preparations for the season ahead, matches broadcast on its entertainment and movie channels on Sundays to capture family audiences, a special family-focused feed with less statistics and analysis, a ‘Dugout’ feed on sports channel Star Sports Select with deep technical analysis, more than 139 commentators – up from 128 last year, and potentially a feed in a new language – Malayalam.

The Television Post report said Star is targeting 24-per-cent growth in advertising income for the event this year, and has sold 76 per cent of its advertising inventory with seven weeks to go. However, the report quoted some local advertising industry experts who said they thought 24-per-cent was a difficult final target given the slowing advertising market.

Last week, it was reported that Star’s ad sales had passed $126m in value.