Star Sports is faced with no lesser challenge than the Board of Control for Cricket in India to deliver the Indian Premier League 2020 amidst the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic.
The number of people to be deployed for the broadcast delivery of the 60 matches, spread across three venues and 53 days, will certainly be greater than the combined strength of the eight IPL teams and the other match officials.
Gains for the broadcaster are set to be worth all the challenges in terms of audience reach and values. Uday Shankar, The Walt Disney Company Asia Pacific president and chairman of Star India and The Walt Disney Company India, is optimistic that the IPL 2020 will set a global benchmark for the television audience.
Speaking to the national daily Times of India, Uday has revealed that Star India is expecting over 550 million TV audiences for the IPL LIVE broadcast and LIVE programming in India. The LIVE IPL feed will be distributed to over 100 countries.
“We are very focused on making sure the fan experience at home is not impacted. Viewership has never been an issue with IPL. I can only hope it’s bigger than ever. There will be seven fully customized broadcast feeds across languages and 18 hours of live and special programming,” Uday told the daily in an exclusive interview.
“I’m happy and delighted it (IPL) is happening in a country and time-zone that is going to be very convenient for Indian fans.”
More than 700 broadcast production crew will work across the three stadiums in the UAE – Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi – to deliver the IPL LIVE content across over 100 countries. There will also be a panel of 90 commentators that will work across India and the UAE. The entire Star Sports team will work for around 75 days, strictly adhering to the COVID-19 standard operating protocols.
There’ll be a bio-secure bubble in Mumbai to entail 400-plus staffers across six floors of the Star India production facility.