This time’s IPL viewership over 25-30% higher than previous iterations: Uday Shankar

Cinema theatres will see a resurgence after the pandemic, the Chairman of Star & Disney India said at the 18th Hindustan Times Leadership Summit

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Nov 30, 2020 1:00 PM
Uday Shankar

Cinema halls will see a resurgence after the pandemic with more people flocking to the theatres, asserted Uday Shankar, Chairman, Star & Disney India, at the 18th Hindustan Times Leadership Summit.

According to Shankar, “we should be mindful of making a binary argument of streaming platforms versus theatre”. He was speaking in the context of IPL concluding a successful season on Hotstar.

At the summit Shankar said: “..We realised that whenever the IPL happened, it would be a really big one. However, we also knew that there would be huge challenges. This would be the first time that the IPL would be played in empty stadiums. So we knew that it could be the biggest or it could be the most disastrous,” he said, adding that this time’s IPL viewership is over 25-30% higher than the previous iterations. “It’s about power of cricket, people's desires to let life prevail over everything else.”

Further talking about niche channels, Shankar said: “The business case (for niche channels) has come under huge challenge and that’s not something you can blame on Covid-19. It’s because of the regulatory dispensation we are operating in India. Television has been a huge victim of regulatory thoughtlessness.”

With regards to OTT regulation, he said that global streaming services must not be insensitive to India’s diversity and culture by offering gratuitous content. Shankar further said Indian consumers are far more open and mature than most regulators deem them to be and do not need filters to be applied to everything they watch.

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