Star Sports ups the bar on its programming for IPL 2019
In an epic 1-run thriller, Mumbai Indians became VIVO Indian Premier League champions for a record fourth time after defeating Chennai Super Kings on Sunday. The close encounter summed up the competition witnessed this season and reflected how closely contested the VIVO IPL is, as a tournament. Further personalising the experience for fans this year, Star Sports, India’s leading sports broadcaster used a combination of technology, newly introduced dedicated regional channels, a rousing campaign and a host of programming initiatives to broaden the outreach and experience even further.
Star Sports has broadened the broadcast for VIVO IPL with dedicated regional sports channels and backed the tournament with strong LIVE as well as non-LIVE programming. The introduction of some of the best cricketing voices who brought their expertise to Select Dugout 2.0 ensured that fans were able to celebrate each moment of their favourite tournament in a manner they want. Eight dedicated language feeds offered a personalised experience with curated content for fans across the country.
Super Funday - Curated content for family entertainment
Star Sports curated a special feed to connect with families and kids on Star Gold inviting a wider section of audiences. The episodes of ‘Sunday Funday’ were broadcast to give viewers a fresh and relatable experience to VIVO IPL 2019. The feed saw kids interviewing cricketers along with former cricketers, Bollywood and television stars and a lot more. There were fun and games and one could experience the VIVO IPL through the eyes of these children.
#SelectDugout 2.0 - a resounding hit amongst cricket lovers
Growing to be truly appreciated by cricket fanatics globally, the commentary roster for VIVO IPL 2019 featured over 100+ experts, both from India and across the globe. The #SelectDugout meant to keep the ardent cricket fans ahead of the game and make the experience of VIVO IPL more immersive, received an overwhelming response from fans. With Brendon Mccullum and Brian Lara making their debut on Select Dugout 2.0, fans were in for a treat with an illustrious panel of experts which also included Kumar Sangakkara, Brett Lee, Dean Jones, Scott Styris, Anil Kumble, Graeme Smith, Paul Collingwood, Gautam Gambhir, etc.
Culminating the VIVO IPL 2019, the Star Sports Select Dugout experts were pitted against each other with the Select Dugout Debate moderated by Rajdeep Sardesai. Team Deano and Team Scotty faced off against each other in a banter that highlighted key stats leading up to the game, key player battles to watch out for and more importantly who has a greater chance to create history by becoming VIVO IPL Champions for a record fourth time? Team Deano supporting Mumbai Indians won the highly coveted Select Dugout Debate trophy and Mumbai Indians were titled champions the very next day.
Regional commentary - Personalised experience in 8 languages
The regionalization story for the VIVO IPL was strengthened with the introduction of SS1 Bangla taking the total number of languages to 8 which is the maximum for any sport tournament till date. In the endeavour to introduce these languages feeds and establish them as respective destinations for fans to watch VIVO IPL in their preferred language, Star Sports onboarded Dev and Rukmini, NTR Jr. and Upendra as the official ambassadors of Star Sports 1 Bangla, Star Sports 1 Telugu and Star Sports 1 Kannada respectively. Separate promos with Dev and Rukmini, NTR Jr. and Upendra were shot to introduce the new channels as the official destinations for fans to catch all the VIVO IPL action in Bengali, Telugu and Kannada respectively.
Silly Point has been Star Sports' irreverent take on various interesting moments during VIVO IPL 2019 presented in a world of animation using cartoons. Widely appreciated by viewers, every Silly Point segment had a unique way of storytelling because of the flexibility of creating a virtual world. For example, we saw Shah Rukh Khan on a train grooving on a song after KKR’s, recreating the iconic ‘chhaiya chhaiya’ scene. Similarly, we had MS Dhoni portray the role of Rajnikanth and Shikhar Dhawan as the iconic Gabbar from the movie Sholay.
Star Sports’ had its own version of Munna Bhai’s iconic character ‘circuit’ during VIVO IPL 2019. Played by the child artist ‘Divyansh Dwivedi’, the character was called ‘Short Circuit’ and this segment was put on-air on #MarutiSuzukiCricketLive, every Saturday. It was essentially a ‘wrap of the week’ which was told in a quirky style where Divyansh played the role of a young version of the actual ‘circuit’ to tell the weekly stories in a ‘tapori’ dialect.
Star sports in its second year of VIVO IPL took the initiative of using a unique way of story-telling in the world of sports broadcast. The tournament began with an opening rap song, sung by #ThatCricketGuy Jatin Sapru, with the music and the music video produced in-house by Harshit Baranwal. The song was co-written by both of them. The song was widely appreciated by many netizens across social media. One of the immensely popular rap songs has been on our very own captain cool, CSK's MS Dhoni! Similarly, there has been a song on Rohit Sharma, and a new song on KKR as a team. All these have been sung by underground rap artists across the country like; RCR - Amritsar, The Rapping Machine - Bhopal, Hosxain - Mumbai, Rehaa - Guwahati, etc. There have been more various other Star Sports anchors rapping for relevant fixtures. MITV (a show on Mumbai Indians franchise) saw a rap on MI v CSK and MI v RCB. Another rap was produced for the Delhi Capitals teams, sung by RJ Abhimanyu Kak. The final match had a rap battle between two teams, each of the two supporting CSK and MI.
All in all, Star Sports gave fans and viewers a complete packaged experience of cricketing dose and family entertainment, with specific curated content that catered to the masses and to core- cricket fans.