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IPL 5 online to feature HD streaming action, VOD

The internet, mobile and radio rights holders for Indian Premier League (IPL), Times Internet Ltd (TIL), is upping its game this season with a high definition live broadcast feed and adaptive streaming, video on demand (VOD), and interactive scorecards.

Online viewers of IPL Season 5, which begins on 4 April, will also now be able to rewind live footage through a digital video recorder (DVR) function on the site. Applications have been created for the iPhone, iPad and Android platforms too.

New sections such as 'Battleground' - where fans can link up to watch together via Facebook - and 'Cheerleaders' have also been added, reports the group's daily, Times of India.

"Indiatimes already has a large reach in the online world and associating with IPL helps us create a halo effect. We have already generated 40% profit and the figure is rising. This might well be the largest revenue generator through an online event," said Rishi Khiani, chief executive officer, India Times.

"This year, All India Radio (AIR) joins us as the radio broadcast partner and for the first time live commentary will be available to the fans on AM bandwith," he added.

TIL won the IPL's global internet, mobile and radio rights in 2011 for a four year period. Last season it registered 72 million users on the website ipl.indiatimes.com , up from 54 million that logged on in Season 3.

"We'll be spending $6-7 million for the promotion of the website, which interestingly is less than what we spent last year. We have already managed to identify the fan base that we can tap into," Khiani added.

The main sponsors of Indiatimes IPL coverage are Coca-Cola, Samsung and Maruti, with Hindustan Unilever, Hero, Airtel, Citibank, Ebay, Kotak Mahindra Bank and Karbonn mobiles all acting as co-sponsors.

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