Is 'Roar Of The Lion' Hotstar’s way of creating more content around IPL 2019?

Nikhil Madhok of Hotstar Original Content and Deepak Dhar of Banijay Asia, reveal whether or not MS Dhoni’s docu-drama is a move to provide more content to the consumers during IPL

Hotstar

Hotstar recently announced the launch of Hotstar Specials, which will feature shows from India’s most acclaimed storytellers. The first to arrive from this bouquet is ‘Roar Of The Lion’. It charts the journey of Chennai Super Kings’ comeback to IPL through Mahendra Singh Dhoni after a two year ban and lifting the trophy last year. Hotstar claims it’s a story he didn’t even narrate to his own friends. The show hits the streamer on March 20 which couldn’t have been a more apt time because Indian Premiere League begins from March 23. In fact, the first match of the tournament is between CSK and Royal Challengers Bangalore. Could it be a move to get more time spend on the app apart from match viewing? Nikhil Madhok, EVP & Head Hotstar Original Content, insists it’s by default and not by design. 

Speaking to exchange4media, Madhok explains, “The way this story panned out, we would have wanted it regardless of whether or not IPL had happened. The stars have aligned in such a way that it is launching a couple of days before IPL. It does have a significant advantage. In the course of next eight to six weeks when the IPL is on, the traffic and the numbers are really mind-boggling. Frankly, it provides this particular show a massive opportunity for people to watch it. In that sense yes, it happened more by default than design which is beneficial. For us, we couldn’t have asked for a more original story for our first Hotstar Special is concerned.”

‘Roar of The Lion’ is a collaboration with Deepak Dhar’s Banijay Asia and MS Dhoni’s Dhoni Entertainment with Hotstar being the OTT platform on which it is mounted. When asked what made Dhar go for Hotstar, the Founder & CEO revealed, “The whole content boom that is happening. Now you want content to be made available on every device possible. This has really become the closest screens and the big screen is quite far off.” He also added how unlike ‘Sachin: A Billion Dreams’ which was in the docu-drama space like ‘Roar Of the Lion’, he never really thought about taking it to the theatres.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni already has a film to his name which speaks about his journey from a TC with the railways to being the World Cup winning captain. The film made Rs 120 crore or more at the box office. So why a show on him makes sense for Hotstar’s consumers? Madhok explains, “We announced our initiative for Hotstar Special a few months ago. Around that point of time, Deepak has come up with the idea of ‘Roar of The Lion’. We found a couple of things exciting. As the home of cricket in the country, Hotstar is the credible platform to tell such a story. In the kind of specials that we are doing, we are trying to be innovative. A story like his which is a mixture of drama and documentary…people are not really exposed to in this country. Given the size and scale Hotstar has we are going to make it available in multiple languages, the entire country can watch it.”

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