The Vivo IPL Hotstar CricFest at MatchPoint NYC was a publicity stunt for Hotstar, who acquired the digital streaming rights for the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL), scheduled from April 6 to May 27, 2018.
With a promotional one-month free watch, Hotstar is, no doubt, trying to make inroads into the market share of Willow TV, which is currently available only on cable and satellite.
Ipsita Dasgupta, President, Hotstar International, at Star India, an Indian American and former New Yorker who relocated to India 10 years ago, was present at the meet.
She showcased the features of the Hotstar app, compatible with Android and iOS mobile devices, as well as viewing on TV screens through devices like Roku.
This year, Hotstar will present the IPL matches with commentary in six different languages: English, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Bengali.
The popularity of Hotstar in India can be gauged by the fact that its app got 340 million views for all 49 matches during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, and over 200 million views during the IPL Season 8.
The “engaging and immersion experience” as Dasgupta expressed it, to enjoy the dynamic IPL through interactive features on Android and IOs mobile devices, for the US and Canada audience, as well as media sharing facilities, was very much evident in the CricFest itself.
Popular sports presenter Gaurav Kapur moderated proceedings during a press conference, and later, for a chat with Kumble and Singh amidst almost 1,000 invited fans, from the tristate area.
“We are interested in the casual cricket fans here in the US, and we are constantly innovating to make their experience engaging and immersive,” said Dasgupta