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Summary:

Good news for cricket fans: YouTube is making the semifinal and final matches of this year’s Indian Premier League cricket tournament available live for all viewers, including those in the U.S. The IPL’s final four matches of the season, which begin on Wednesday and culminate with […]

Good news for cricket fans: YouTube is making the semifinal and final matches of this year’s Indian Premier League cricket tournament available live for all viewers, including those in the U.S. The IPL’s final four matches of the season, which begin on Wednesday and culminate with the championship match on April 25, will be streamed live on YouTube’s IPL channel at youtube.com/ipl.

As part of a multiyear agreement with the IPL that YouTube struck in January, the online video site has been streaming the entire season of IPL cricket matches live — for all markets except the U.S. If cricket fans here wanted to view the action live, they had to sign up for subscription-based online sports site Willow.tv and pay $60 to stream the games in real time.

Despite this, YouTube saw massive demand for on-demand viewing of the IPL matches in the U.S., as matches became available here 15 minutes after the live streams concluded. Even without the availability of live streams, the U.S. ranked second in the world (behind India) in terms of number of subscribers to the IPL channel, as well as rating, commenting on and favoriting videos. As a result of the enthusiasm by U.S. viewers, YouTube opened up the last four matches for viewing live.

The inaugural season of the IPL on YouTube — the video-sharing site’s first foray into streaming a sporting event live — appears to be a success. Over the first 55 matches of the IPL season, YouTube says it’s received more than 40 million views across the globe, and that’s before the beginning of the playoff matchups. With the availability of live streams in the U.S., we can expect plenty more viewers tuning in for the final four matchups. A schedule is available on the IPL web site here.

Related content on GigaOM Pro: Not Your Grandfather’s Streaming Video Business (subscription required)

  1. rankwankjank Monday, April 19, 2010

    eesh. cricket and playoffs in the same article.

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  2. [...] also wondering if Willow.tv saw a dip in subscriptions for its $60 IPL package. Note that despite IPL content being made available on YouTube deferred live, total views for the [...]

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  3. [...] also wondering if Willow.tv saw a dip in subscriptions for its $60 IPL package. Note that despite IPL content being made available on YouTube deferred live, total views for the [...]

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  4. [...] mainly from on-demand availability of matches after they were aired live. As a result, YouTube opened the semifinal and final matches up to the U.S. audience for live and on-demand [...]

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  5. [...] the Union Address, music events like the Outside Lands Music Festival, and sports events like the Indian Premier League Championship. But so far it has shied away from opening the floodgates to casual users, who are only able to [...]

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  6. [...] have to date included the State of the Union Address, the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival and the Indian Premier League Championship. And there are indications that YouTube could expand its live streaming capabilities further, [...]

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  7. [...] live events like the State of the Union address, various concerts and music festivals and the Indian Premier League cricket tournament. But it had relied on third-party CDNs for its previous live events, rather than [...]

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