India’s JioCinema broke the global record for the most concurrent views to a live streamed event on Monday, beating a milestone set by Disney’s Hotstar years ago, as tycoon Mukesh Ambani spares no expense in expanding his digital empire.

The Indian streaming app, whose partner includes James Murdoch’s Bodhi Tree-backed Viacom18, surpassed the record Monday evening, attracting 28 million concurrent viewers to the final game of the 16th edition of Indian Premier League cricket tourney between Chennai Super Kings and Gujarat Titans.

Hotstar had set the earlier record, a milestone it maintained for years, when it drew 25.3 million simultaneous viewers to a game of cricket in July 2019. The platform struggled to top its own record in the following years as it moved the IPL streaming behind the paywall.

Screengrab of JioCinema website.

Drawing a page from Hotstar’s earlier strategy, Viacom18 is seemingly steering its trajectory along a similar path. The Indian entertainment giant, whose largest investor is Ambani’s Reliance, in a strategic shift last year emerged victorious in a bidding war against Disney, securing the digital rights for the immensely popular IPL for a five-year period until 2027.

As part of its streaming strategy, Viacom18’s JioCinema app is offering free streaming of the tournament to audiences across South Asia, a move that could potentially reshape the region’s digital streaming landscape, analysts say.

More to follow.



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