Silver lining for Hotstar as India crash out of Cricket World Cup
Hotstar, the video streaming service of broadcaster Star India, looks to have broken its record for concurrent views as upwards of 25 million users were tuned in for the final stages of the national cricket team’s surprise defeat to New Zealand in the semi-finals of the Cricket World Cup taking place in England and Wales.
Unofficial figures show that the number of views reached 25.3 million in the 49th and penultimate over of the India innings yesterday as the team fell short in its bid to overhaul the Kiwis’ score of 239 for 8 in Manchester, ultimately going down by 18 runs in a game which went to a second day because of bad weather.
If confirmed, this would break the previous record of 18.6 million set by Hotstar during this year’s Indian Premier League final between Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings.
The highest figure for this World Cup had been 15.6 million for the hotly-anticipated clash between India and Pakistan in the group stage.
Star is the global broadcast partner of the International Cricket Council, and Indian TV figures for yesterday's match will be announced at a later date.
India finished top of the 10-team group, but will not be featuring in the final at Lord’s in London on Sunday following their defeat by New Zealand.
All cricket fans in New Zealand will be able to watch the game live after pay-television broadcaster Sky TV announced that it will screen the game in full on its free-to-air channel Prime.
Martin Stewart, the chief executive of Sky, which holds exclusive live rights to the tournament, said it had taken the decision “so the whole country can join in.”
Similarly, UK subscription broadcaster Sky has pledged to allow the final of the World Cup to be shown free-to-air across the country if England beats Australia in the second semi-final in Birmingham today.
UK commercial broadcaster Channel 4 has been providing highlights and public-service broadcaster the BBC digital clips of the tournament alongside Sky's live offering.