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Reliance’s JioCinema Sets New World Record with Unparalleled Free Cricket Streaming

Reliance’s JioCinema, the Indian streaming platform backed by media mogul Mukesh Ambani, has shattered the global record for the highest number of simultaneous viewers during a live-streamed event. The platform’s groundbreaking achievement surpassed the previous milestone set by Disney’s Hotstar, underscoring Ambani’s unwavering commitment to expanding his digital empire. With over 32 million viewers tuning in to the grand finale of the 16th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket tournament, JioCinema has emerged as a disruptive force in the streaming industry.

Breaking Hotstar’s Long-Standing Record:

Hotstar’s record of 25.3 million simultaneous viewers for a cricket match in July 2019 stood unchallenged for years. However, as Hotstar transitioned its IPL streaming service to a paid format, it struggled to surpass this benchmark in subsequent years. This highlights the intricate challenge of striking a balance between reach and revenue within the streaming sector. Seizing the opportunity, Viacom18, the Indian entertainment giant and Reliance’s largest investor, emerged victorious in a $3 billion bidding war against Disney, securing the digital rights for IPL for the next five years, until 2027.

Viacom18’s Strategic Shift:

Taking a cue from Hotstar’s earlier strategy, Viacom18 is now treading a similar path. As part of its streaming strategy, Viacom18’s JioCinema app is offering free streaming of the IPL tournament to audiences across South Asia. This bold move has the potential to reshape the digital streaming landscape in the region, according to industry analysts. Viacom18’s JioCinema, which already provides free access to basic content for Jio telecom network subscribers, recently introduced a premium tier. Subscribers can now unlock a broader range of content by opting for the annual premium plan priced at an affordable 999 Indian rupees ($12).

Enhancing the Premium Offering:

To make its premium offering even more appealing to potential subscribers, Viacom18 has secured deals with international entertainment powerhouses, including Warner Bros. and NBCUniversal. These partnerships ensure a captivating lineup of content for JioCinema’s premium subscribers. By continually improving the value proposition of its premium tier, Viacom18 aims to further strengthen its position in the streaming market.

Disney’s Resilience:

Despite the challenges posed by JioCinema’s groundbreaking success, Disney continues to achieve significant milestones. The international giant, which broadcasts the game via satellite television in India, garnered an impressive tally of 482 million cumulative views throughout the initial 66 IPL matches. This data, sourced from the industry organization Broadcast Audience Research Council, showcases Disney’s enduring prowess and adaptability in the ever-evolving entertainment landscape.


Reliance’s JioCinema has made history by breaking the world record for the highest number of concurrent viewers during a live streamed event. With over 32 million viewers tuning in to the IPL finale, JioCinema has cemented its position as a disruptive force in the streaming industry. By offering free streaming of the tournament, Viacom18’s JioCinema has set in motion a potential transformation of the digital streaming landscape across South Asia. As the streaming sector continues to evolve, the competition between JioCinema and established players like Disney’s Hotstar promises an exciting future for cricket enthusiasts and streaming enthusiasts alike.


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