To cash in on the popularity of the Indian Premier League (IPL), telecom operators are not just offering exciting tariff plans and partnering with companies for live streaming, but are also using innovative marketing strategies to give their subscribers the best possible experience of the matches. The 11th edition of the IPL, which is scheduled to begin from Saturday, is expected to be watched by 700 million people. Reliance Jio subscribers will be able to see the live streaming of the matches without having to pay the Rs 299 monthly subscription charges via Hotstar. Besides, the operator has also launched a special offer, Cricket Season Pack, under which a user by paying Rs 251 will have a daily data limit of 2GB at 4G speed with a validity of 51 days. Normally, the company’s data packs offer 1GB data daily. The operator is also launching a special programme, Never Run-Out of Laughter, which will premier on the MyJio app on Saturday. It will be available free to both Jio and non-Jio subscribers. The operator will also have a game contest, which will be accessible to all smartphone users in India and can be played in 11 languages. The country’s largest telecom operator Bharti Airtel is also providing live streaming of the IPL matches for its subscribers through the Airtel TV app on similar lines as Jio by partnering with Hotstar.
Bharti has rolled out a new version of the Airtel TV app, which comes with a dedicated cricket section that has been designed to bring a highly curated experience to users in addition to all the LIVE action. It will deploy the Massive MIMO Pre-5G technology across IPL match venues. Massive MIMO expands existing network capacity by five to seven times over existing spectrum, thereby improving spectral efficiency. Customers will be able to experience superfast data speeds despite the very large number of concurrent users on the network sites at the venue. Massive MIMO will be deployed at all IPL match venues in Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mohali, Indore, Jaipur, Bengaluru and Chennai. It is the the first operator in India to commercially deploy the technology. State-run BSNL too is offering exciting offers to its subscribers. The operator is offering the IPL Pack Unlimited DATA STV-248 for prepaid mobile customers which give unlimited data (3 GB data per day) with a validity of 51 days during period of the event. This offer is available in the market from April 7 to April 30 on a pan-India basis. The country’s second and third largest mobile operators, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular, have not announced any tariff plan or other offer for the cricketing event. However, sources said that Vodafone has designed some innovative marketing strategies, besides quiz games, to grab eyeballs. “The operator has worked on some exciting guerrilla marketing strategies like the one in which Pepsi stole Coke’s thunder with the ‘nothing official about it’ ad campaign. Vodafone has been associated with IPL since inception and will launch a new campaign. This will be in addition to the new TVC, quiz, games and local activities across several cities,” a top executive form a leading marketing agency said.