JioCinema, an Indian streaming platform, has achieved a new global record for the most concurrent views during a live-streamed event. The platform, backed by James Murdoch’s Bodhi Tree-backed Viacom18, attracted over 3.3 crore simultaneous viewers for the finale of the 16th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket tournament. This milestone surpassed the previous record set by Disney’s Hotstar, which drew 25.3 million simultaneous viewers for a cricket match in July 2019.
Hotstar’s record remained unchallenged for several years, but as the platform transitioned the IPL streaming service to a paid format, it struggled to surpass its own benchmark in subsequent years. Balancing reach and revenue within the streaming sector proved to be a complex task.
Following a similar strategy, Viacom18’s JioCinema app, backed by Reliance Industries led by Mukesh Ambani, secured the digital rights for the IPL for a five-year period until 2027. Viacom18 is offering free streaming of the tournament on JioCinema to audiences across South Asia, a move that analysts believe could reshape the region’s digital streaming landscape.
JioCinema, which already provides free access to its basic content for Jio telecom network subscribers, recently introduced a premium tier. Users can now opt for an annual premium plan at the cost of 999 Indian rupees ($12), unlocking access to a wider range of content. Viacom18 has also struck deals with international entertainment giants Warner Bros. and NBCUniversal to enhance its premium offerings.
Meanwhile, Disney continues to find success in the streaming space. Broadcasting the IPL games via satellite television in India, Disney’s cumulative views reached an impressive 482 million throughout the initial 66 matches, according to data from the Broadcast Audience Research Council.