The HD viewership on TV for the IPL in the ongoing season has been on the rise. As per the latest data from BARC, nearly 6.96 crore viewers tuned into the HD live broadcast of the first 38 matches of the IPL. This was nearly three times higher than the last edition. Disney Star has been broadcasting the T20 League across seven HD channels of Star Sports, including in Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu.

On Friday, the broadcaster said that, as per BARC data, the total live viewership for the first 38 matches was pegged at 43.4 crore on TV. It added that viewership ratings (TVR) grew by over 27 per cent compared to the last edition during this period.

Gurjeev Kapoor, Head of Distribution and International at Disney Star, told Businessline, “HD adoption in India has been on the rise, and the HD subscriber base is expected to double every two years. Our focus on offering HD across seven channels in different languages has helped garner strong HD viewership during the ongoing IPL season. We have been working with our affiliates to increase the uptake of HD in the country.”

Kapoor said that the broadcaster strengthened its collaboration with its over 850 operators and launched joint promotion and marketing plans across regions to increase the reach of the IPL.

“We have been working on upping the reach of the IPL every year. Star Sports has consistently reached eight out of ten pay TV homes in the past. In this IPL season, we have raised the bar, and now the reach has grown to nine out of ten pay TV households. The collaborative efforts with our affiliates have helped us increase the reach by 11 million additional pay TV homes during this season,” he added.

Disney Star’s focus on the addition of additional languages to the Star Sports portfolio has also helped in growing this reach, Kapoor stated. Besides Tamil, Telugu, Hindi, English, and Kannada, the broadcaster has added four additional languages: Marathi, Gujarati, Bengali, and Malayalam for this season.

“We have seen significant growth in reach in markets such as Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Gujarat, and West Bengal, opening up newer avenues. Hindi-speaking regions have also seen strong growth,” he added.

In the Hindi-speaking markets, the live broadcast reach for the first 38 games was pegged at about 29.1 crore, the highest ever reach, the broadcaster said, quoting BARC data.