Star Sports, India’s leading sports broadcaster, has teamed up with Airtel 5G Plus for the upcoming TATA IPL 2023 season to launch a groundbreaking initiative called ‘Airtel 5G Plus Ultimate Fan’ on Cricket Live. This innovative initiative enables a unique interaction between virtual avatars of cricket fans and legends of the game in the Star Sports studio during the Cricket Live show. The partnership drives large awareness and adoption of Airtel’s 5G technology. Star Sports, the official television broadcaster of the marquee tournament, has thus taken technological innovations a notch higher, being a pioneer in introducing the world’s first broadcast innovations to create an immersive and engaging viewing experience on television.
The ‘Airtel 5G Plus Ultimate Fan’ initiative eliminates the need for fans to be physically present in the same studio as the experts during ‘Cricket Live’, as fans can be beamed from any location in real-time through a photo-real virtual avatar. The authenticity of the interactions of the virtual avatar is validated by the depth in expressions, gestures and actions which makes the initiative distinct and never-seen-before. The engagement, part of Star Sports’ constant efforts to bring fans closer to their favourite teams and players, is powered by the superfast Airtel 5G Plus and is the first time ever on Indian television that an innovation of this magnitude has been seen.
Ajit Varghese, head of network – Ad Sales, Disney Star, said, “For us at Star Sports, the sports fan has always been at the core of all our innovations. By collaborating with Airtel 5G Plus, we have been able to deliver a delightful experience for several fans, while creating a disruption that has never been seen before on Indian television. Our commitment to innovate and leverage it to drive unparalleled impact for brands will always be unrelenting.”
Shashwat Sharma, director consumer business, Bharti Airtel, added, “We at Airtel are focused on bringing the latest technology and impactful innovations to our customers. Airtel 5G plus launch has led the way for a new generation of wireless technology that powers many emerging use cases – virtual reality in sports being one of them. Partnering with Star Sports and EssenceMediacom, we have brought alive this path-breaking VR innovation at one of the largest customer stages – the Tata IPL. Our cricket fans will see the next generation of immersive experience in sports, live on their TV screens.”