Google India today announced an agreement with the Indian Premier League and its licensing partner Global Cricket Ventures that will enable it to live stream all the action from latest season on a dedicated IPL channel on YouTube at www.youtube.com/ipl.
Under the terms of this agreement, Google will have exclusive online rights for IPL content for two years and both Google and IPL will jointly share revenues from sponsorships and advertising on www.youtube.com/ipl and on www.iplt20.com (the official website of IPL).
This is the first time Google is live streaming – a mega cricket tournament spanning 60 matches over 45 days- for a major global sport on YouTube. This season of IPL is scheduled to take place between between 12 March and 25 April 2010 in India.
This partnership also marks a first-of-its-kind innovation in live streaming of any global cricketing event providing boundary-less access to the billions of fans across the world, except in USA where re-broadcast options will be available.
Online users will also enjoy special content, which includes match highlights, player interviews, wickets of the match, top sixes of the match, award ceremony, pitch reports, and much more, at any time convenient to them. Those who watch IPL matches live on YouTube will also get a special treat - an exclusive 'YouTube View' that will provide viewers with an alternative view of the match not available on television or any other media.
"We are thrilled to have the IPL as our global partner and bring to the YouTube community around the world and here in India an interactive, unique experience building greater awareness around the world for the sport," said Shailesh Rao, managing director, Google India and Media & Platforms, Asia Pacific.
He added, "YouTube offers an open platform for sports and entertainment companies to take their content to a global audience and a great opportunity for advertisers to interact with a large number of viewers through interactive video formats. During the IPL season, the biggest and most talked-about cricket tournament in the world, YouTube will offer innovative and engaging advertising opportunities to companies which help them build stronger online brand associations and engage the audience."
Lalit Modi, chairman and commissioner, IPL said, "This unique initiative by IPL to partner Google India will give the league a global reach on a single distribution platform. This will allow IPL fans anywhere in the world to view the action on-demand as per their convenience, thus making the new dedicated IPL channel on YouTube the biggest virtual stadium in the world."
In addition to live streaming of matches on YouTube, Google will also host a special IPL branded Orkut Community which will host live chats with Man of the Match, team owners, contests and match polls to engage fans and audiences while the tournament is on. Users will also be able to enjoy short clips of highlights and other special video content on the YouTube mobile - http://www.youtube.com/mobile.
The advertising options on YouTube will be available only for a limited number of sponsors over the course of the season. Companies will have the opportunity to sponsor live streamed matches, match re-broadcasts, and ongoing viewership of clips and highlights. Advertisers will be able to advertise on the YouTube homepage, the live stream page, video ads during the match itself amongst several other innovative formats.