Finally, American cricket fans will be able to watch IPL for FREE on www.youtube.com/ipl. The final will begin shortly is expected to draw a very large viewership.
TechCrunch reported on April 23, 2010, that IPL had 50 million views, far above the 10 million that YouTube had expected. Unsurprisingly, India topped the list but USA surprised all by coming second because the streaming was time-delayed in USA, with matches posted 15 minutes after they ended.
Pic (Right): YouTube will host the IPL final for FREE.
Initially, from reading Lalit Modi’s Twitter feed, it appeared that the broadcasts will be delayed by 5 minutes. But when it became apparent that it was going to be a rebroadcast, many die-hard fans embraced the paid services such as Willow and DIRECTV.
Willow began pointing its paid subscribers to the YouTube site for the semis and final matches. As one might expect, the semis and the final are the most anticipated of the entire IPL series. Of these, only the final is scheduled for a weekend - easily the most watched match in the IPL.
For the paid subscribers, this is a case of “bait and switch,” because they paid to watch these very matches, but this is a decision that they can live with if the quality of the YouTube stream lives up to their expectations. “The matches will be available in the same high quality streaming experience available from http://www.willow.tv,” Willow said in an assurance sent via an email to its paid viewers. “ This is the first of many other such initiatives from Willow TV to popularize cricket in North America, with a particular focus on highly entertaining Twenty20 format.”
Willow TV announced to its paid viewers that, “ As part of Willow TV's continued efforts to bring widespread exposure to the sport of cricket in North America, we have partnered with YouTube to bring the Indian Premier League 2010 semi finals and finals live on YouTube. These matches will be available live and free of cost starting on April 21, 2010, at http://www.youtube.com/ipl.”
Global Cricket Ventures (GCV), it was reported by NewsEdge, sold the IPL live streaming rights to YouTube for $ 7 million for two years enabling YouTube to live-stream IPL in most countries except USA. GCV also owns Willow.TV which had a paid streaming service in USA that continued through the IPL until April 21.