Viacom18 to merge Voot with JioCinema to boost sports streaming capabilities

Viacom18 will merge its streaming platform Voot with JioCinema in order to live-stream the Indian Premier League, reports Businessline. The report further says that the combined streaming platform may be re-branded before streaming the premiere sporting event.

Viacom18 had acquired the digital streaming rights for IPL for the duration of 2023-27 for ₹20,500 crore.

The Reliance-backed Viacom18 entered the sports live-streaming segment after JioCinema started streaming the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 for free. JioCinema app live-streamed FIFA World Cup in India for free with the intention of building the massive user base for the IPL next year. Analysts point out that the free live streaming of the World Cup was meant to reach out to 700 million smartphone users in India.

“We want consumers to have easy access to world-class production across digital and linear platforms to match the event’s stature. Our efforts are towards reshaping fan experience and building one of the most-loved media platforms in India,” Viacom18 Sports CEO Anil Jayaraj had said. 

Analysts had already pointed out that with IPL in its kitty, the fortunes of Voot will definitely change forever. IPL has been enjoying immense brand valuation year-on-year. As per a report by Brand Finance, IPL’s brand value has risen by 7% year on year despite 4-month delay and relocation to Dubai, reaching $4.7 billion in 2021. This is after the IPL ecosystem value decreased by 3.6% to Rs 45,800 crore in 2020 from Rs 47,500 crore in 2019, as per a report by Duff & Phelps.

As of now, Voot has only 2% market share in the streaming market. While JioCinema is a free service, Voot Select is a paid offering.


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