Reliance is reportedly looking to disrupt the live sports streaming market. Following its free live streaming of FIFA World Cup on the JioCinema app last year, the country’s leading telco is now looking to stream the upcoming season of Indian Premier League (IPL) live, as per a report by The Hindu Businessline.
In 2022, Reliance-owned Viacom18 purchased the digital media rights of IPL seasons 2023 through 2027 for a whopping amount of Rs 23,758 crore.
JioCinema offered live stream of all FIFA World Cup matches as the digital rights of the football tournament were held by Viacom18. Hence, the matches were streamed on the app, as well as on TV channels such as Sports18 and Sports18 HD.
Now the report, citing sources, claims that Viacom18 is exploring several strategies to execute its plan to disrupt the live sports streaming market. The report also added that Reliance may also offer products for free to corner market share.
Viacom18 reportedly plans to broadcast IPL for free in regional languages. While Jio telecom subscribers will be able to access the live stream for free, rival services can also tap into it with subscribed access to JioCinema. The company is said to have a service repertoire of 60 million dish-free homes under its belt.
The company will still, however, continue offering subscription plans and packages to offer a better experience for those who want the same.
JioCinema was the sole digital rights holder of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, streaming all the matches on the app with added features such as commentary in regional languages as well as exclusive live camera angles. However, the coverage was marred with buffering issues and reports of the app crashing for viewers on the first days of the tournament. Services were fine-tuned later on to accommodate the massive number of viewers it garnered, ensuring a smooth experience for most.