In India, cricket is not just a sport, it’s a religion. The Indian Premier League (IPL) is the biggest cricket tournament in the country and is watched by millions of people every year. With the competition between teams heating up on the field, there’s also a channel war to grab viewership and attention. This year, two of the biggest players in the game were Star Sports and JioCinema. The channel war began with innovative IPL campaigns to attract viewers, and it was tough competition to see who did it better. In this blog, we’ll take a closer look at Star Sports and JioCinema’s IPL campaigns and see who came out on top in this battle for viewership. So, let’s dive in!
Campaigns of JioCinema and Star Sports for the IPL 2023 season.
While the channel war focused on promoting their content and engaging with their audience, their IPL campaigns had some key differences in terms of their approach and execution.
Jio IPL’s campaign focused on convenience and gamification. The “Watch Together” feature allowed users to watch the matches with their friends and family virtually, even if they were in different locations, while the “Cricket Diaries” game provided users with an engaging and interactive experience to earn points and redeem exciting prizes. Jio IPL also used social media extensively with the hashtag #IPLwithJio, encouraging fans to share their experiences and interact with the channel. They also hired Bollywood actors like Alia Bhatt for advertisement and to attain the crowd’s attention.
On the other hand, Star Sports’ IPL campaign focused on the emotional and cultural aspects of IPL. The channel launched a series of ads titled “India Waali Cricket” that showcased the love and passion for cricket in the country. The ads featured fans from different parts of India coming together to celebrate the tournament and showcased how IPL has become a unifying force in the country. Star Sports IPL also used the hashtag #IPLonStar to promote their content on social media and engage with their audience. For advertisement, they reached out to cricket players like Dhoni and Virat Kohli who have a crazy fan following.
In terms of execution, the channel war seemed to be a draw as they both delivered their campaigns in their unique ways. Jio IPL’s “Watch Together” feature and “Cricket Diaries” game provided an innovative and interactive experience to its users, while Star Sports IPL ad “India Waali Cricket” struck a chord with the audience by showcasing the emotional and cultural significance of IPL in the country.
The competition between Disney Star and Viacom18 for attracting viewership for IPL 2023 has been intense. Disney Star retained the television rights for INR 23,575 crores, while Viacom18, a new entrant in the sports broadcasting field, acquired the digital rights for INR 23,758 crores. Both broadcasting partners have been putting in their best efforts to engage viewers for this season of the IPL.
Disney Star recently released figures indicating that viewership for the first 10 matches of IPL 2023 clocked 6,230 crore minutes of watch time. Impressively, a staggering 30.7 crore viewers tuned in to watch the matches on their television screens, marking a significant increase of 23% compared to the viewership numbers for the previous edition of the IPL. These impressive numbers are a testament to the popularity of the IPL, and the efforts made by Disney Star to engage viewers through their IPL 2023 campaign.
Viacom18’s JioCinema, the digital partner for IPL 2023, has reported a cumulative viewership of 550 crores for 17 matches as of Wednesday, April 12. In a new milestone, the 17th match between CSK and RR in Chepauk saw the highest-ever concurrent viewership on the platform.
The numbers touched an impressive 2.2 crore viewers as CSK captain MS Dhoni kept the audience glued to their screens with his renowned power-hitting shots, making for an exhilarating match experience. These impressive figures highlight the growing popularity of Jio IPL and its efforts to engage viewers through its innovative and interactive IPL 2023 campaign.
Who did it better?
After analyzing the IPL campaign 2023 of both Disney Star and Viacom18’s JioCinema, it is difficult to say who did it better as each had its strengths and weaknesses.
Disney Star had the advantage of being a well-established broadcasting partner for the IPL, with years of experience in promoting and airing the tournament. Their “Game On” IPL campaign was designed to cater to die-hard cricket fans and capitalized on the excitement surrounding the return of IPL after a gap year. The campaign was backed by an impressive lineup of cricket legends, which helped in attracting viewers to their network.
On the other hand, Jio IPL’s “Dil Se Cricket” campaign was innovative and interactive, designed to appeal to a younger audience and build engagement through social media platforms. The IPL campaign had its own set of strengths, with engaging content and attractive offers to encourage viewership on their digital platform.
While both IPL campaigns had their respective strengths, they also had their weaknesses. Disney Star’s campaign, though well-received, lacked the same level of interactivity and innovation as JioCinema’s campaign. Their reliance on cricket legends to attract viewers might not have appealed to a younger audience. Meanwhile, Jio IPL’s reliance on social media engagement and the digital platform might have excluded certain sections of the audience who prefer traditional television broadcasting.
In terms of viewership, as mentioned above, Star Sports IPL stole the numbers there. It is worth noting that both networks had their own set of advantages, with Disney Star being an established broadcasting partner with a wide reach, and Jio IPL offering an innovative and interactive digital platform.
Overall, it is difficult to say which IPL campaign did better as each network had its strengths and weaknesses. It mostly depends on each individual where and what attracted them the most. However, both Disney Star and Viacom18 put in considerable effort to attract viewers to IPL 2023 and engage them through their respective campaigns.
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