The JioCinema app saw over 5 crore downloads during the opening weekend of Tata IPL 2023 with 147 crore video views, Viacom18 said in a release on Monday.

Viacom18 has won the digital streaming rights for the annual T20 cricket league league for five years and JioCinema is streaming it free across all networks and devices. The matches started on Friday.

“The number of video viewers for the first weekend alone eclipsed what was recorded on JioCinema across the entire last season of TATA IPL on digital. This was also higher than the ICC T20 World Cup 2022,” Viacom18 said.

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The average time spent per user per match was 57 minutes on the JioCinema app, an increase of 60 per cent from last year’s first weekend viewership statistic.

By offering free streaming over the OTT platform, Reliance industries is hoping to on-board as many users as possible and create a revolution in the sports broadcasting segment. This is the group’s go-to strategy for most of its new initiatives, by making an entry at low prices in order to disrupt the sector as well as competitors.

“These numbers are exceptional and evidence of the digital revolution sweeping through the country,” said Viacom18 Sports Chief Executive Officer Anil Jayaraj.

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“Digital is targetable, addressable and interactive. Unlike legacy services, measurement on digital is based on the exact number of people who come in to watch, and is not based on subjective extrapolation from a small sample set,” he said.

Live streaming is available across 12 languages.

The company said it has got sponsorships from a host of companies, including JioMart, PhonePe, Tiago EV, Appy Fizz, ET Money, Castrol, TVS, Oreo, Bingo, Sting, AJIO, Haier, RuPay, Louis Philippe Jeans, Amazon, Rapido, Ultra Tech Cement, Puma, Kamla Pasand, Kingfisher Power Soda and Jindal Panther TMT Rebar