The IPL (Indian Premier League) was welcomed back to Indian shores this year after relocating to the UAE during its last outing due to the onset of coronavirus at the back end of 2020.
Now in its fourteenth iteration, IPL14, the world’s most popular T20 cricket franchise has been breaking records before a ball was even bowled.
As IPL 2021 ramped up its preparations, world record fees were paid for players in the annual IPL auction, which sees cricketers switch allegiances and rosters finalised for the upcoming season.
It was to be Royal Challengers Bangalore who spent the big cash, while reigning champions Mumbai Indians, emerging from a position of strength, remained relatively conservative.
Now this year’s IPL is well underway and the viewing figures are starting to paint a clearer picture, it would appear that mobile streaming of games and related content is more popular with fans than ever.
Trends towards gaming taking an upward trajectory on mobile platforms in India has already been noted amongst gamers. It would appear Indian cricket fans share a similar affinity for their mobile devices.
A variety of streaming apps are currently available for cricket lovers who want quicker and more convenient access to IPL matches and additional content on the move.
The likes of Disney+ Hostar, Airtel Prepaid and JioTV are all on offer for viewers through subscription based gateways that enable access to IPL streaming.
Providers are tentatively predicting mobile streaming usage to surge throughout the IPL season although its full penetration into the market will not be realised until the completion of IPL 2021 itself.
The trend towards online streaming across sporting events was actually spearheaded by online bookmakers. A number of betting sites in India continue to offer live streaming of sporting events and in some cases, in-house coverage, for a variety of sports.
The IPL’s popularity outside of India as the premier T20 cricket franchise in the world is being spearheaded by the BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India).
The BCCI currently has a number of TV deals outside of India with the likes of Sky Sports in the UK and Ireland, Bein Sports in the Middle East and South Africa, as well as a variety of individual deals across South East Asia, Europe and the US and Canada.
However, for Indian fans of the IPL this year could be seen as the big breakthrough moment for the exposure of live streaming cricket matches as fans demand more on-the-go services than ever before.