Both Times Internet Ltd* and Google are doing something different with the Indian Premier League (IPL) this year – TIL, which has the global internet, mobile and audio rights for the IPL has renewed its partnership with YouTube for the 2013 and 2014 seasons. YouTube will have exclusive live-streaming rights for desktop web viewing (with a five minute delay in India) and non-exclusive rights for mobile viewing through the 2013 and 2014 tournaments.
This would be apart from the streaming from Times Internet Ltd, we assume, because TIL is using the IPL to popularise its online video platform BoxTV, something it had planned to do last year. BoxTV was soft-launched in September last year. Matches, except for US and Canada, will be streamed at www.boxtv.com/ipl (the page isn’t live yet) and www.youtube.com/indiatimes (not youtube.com/boxtv ?). Archived matches will be available for viewing in the US.
On YouTube, Google is making another push for Google Hangout, saying that users will be able to watch live matches on the YouTube channel using Google Hangout, and they’re trying to entice users to Google+ using Hangouts with Cricket stars on key match dates – analysis between innings and at half time. There’s also an official Cricket Club Google+ page where users need to sign up for pre-game build up shows.
Given that the TRAI’s limit of 12 minutes of commercials is applicable to sports events, one wonders whether this means that more advertising will be shown online.
Last year, the Times Internet Limited-YouTube combine had reported pageviews of 113 million pageviews, a 55% increase from 72 million pageviews in IPL 4. It had 80 million pageviews, up 87% from 43 million pageviews in IPL 4. TIL had reported pageviews for its IPL live stream at 13.7 million (1,37,35,136) during the first week and 15.95 million (1,59,51, 570) pageviews during the last week of the tournament.
A few things:
- Demand for online video advertising: The IPL will be a test. The Telecom Regulator TRAI recently notified a regulation that limits TV advertising to 12 minutes per hour. These limits will not apply to the web, and since they use a clean feed and insert ads, the possibility of them inserting ads online increases. Given that more and more brands have now gotten accustomed to advertising online (ads on YouTube being a clear example), we wonder if there will be an increase in demand for advertising on IPL online. Apart from this, since only full screen ads are allowed on TV, there is a possibility that TIL and YouTube can offer more innovative formats to advertisers. We’d said earlier that this is an opportunity for growth in digital advertising. Over the next month or so, we’ll find out.
- On Mobile Rights: YouTube has non exclusive mobile rights for mobile “viewing”, so we’re not sure if they will stream to the mobile as well. Remember that Digivive announced the mobile live streaming rights recently, so it seems that YouTube doesn’t have mobile streaming rights.
This can be a little tricky: what are mobile rights? Are they network dependant or device dependant? If I log on to YouTube or BoxTV to watch the game on an iPad via my wireline connection over WiFi, am I consuming mobile rights or Internet rights? In the same way, if I log on to YouTube or BoxTV on my laptop using a data card (EVDO or 3G connection), am I consuming mobile rights or Internet rights? Frankly, these boundaries won’t last very long. Or they shouldn’t. Digital rights should be all encompassing.
That’s the way it should be, in our opinion – network specific rights, not device specific. So if you’re using a data card to watch a Cricket
Disclosure: Times Internet is an advertiser with MediaNama