New Delhi: The Indian Premier League is all set to provide viewers with a dose of Virtual Reality during the upcoming season starting April.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India and broadcaster Star Sports announced on Wednesday that the popular Twenty20 league will be streamed in VR, making it an interactive experience for fans sitting and watching at home.
The VR experience will also enable fans to choose camera angles that they prefer and a commentary language to be picked from among six choices. “This immersive experience will make it possible for fans to come closer to the high-octane matches within the comfort of their homes,” said Sanjay Gupta, managing director of Star India.
BCCI and Star both stressed on the importance of making the IPL a more wholistic six-month affair, which is four months longer than the length of the tournament. Star has already stepped up its efforts to garner interest in the IPL three months before it begins.
The player retention ceremony ahead of the auction was televised earlier this month for the first time in the tournament’s history and drew 8.1 million viewers, according to the broadcaster. Star is also enabling fans to vote for players they think their favourite team should pick during the auction. The IPL auction will be held on January 27-28, featuring as many as 1,112 cricketers.
BCCI CEO Rahul Johri also said that fan parks started by the board in 36 cities, where fans could come and watch IPL matches in numbers, were a huge hit with average footfalls of 10,000-12,000. The IPL attracted 535 million viewers on television and digital platforms in 2017 and is expected to touch 700 million in 2018, according to BCCI.