Advertising money earned from JioCinema’s free Indian Premier League (IPL) streaming drove up the revenue of Reliance Industries Ltd’s media & entertainment business by a whopping 141.7% to Rs 3,239 crore during April-June 2023 compared to Rs 1,340 crore a year ago, according to quarterly results of billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s conglomerate declared on Friday.

“Revenue growth of 141.7% was driven by Viacom18, as IPL on JioCinema delivered record advertising revenues. JioCinema’s advertising revenue was higher than TV as the platform attracted more than 13 times the number of advertisers on TV,” said the press release accompanying the results.

The vertical’s net profit for the period, however, nosedived 25.6% to Rs 29 crore compared to Rs 39 crore a year ago.

Video OTT player JioCinema is IPL’s exclusive digital streaming partner for the 2023-27 season of the money-spinner of a cricketing tournament. Reliance-backed Viacom18 bagged the tournament’s digital rights for Rs 23,758 crore, and aired the 2023 edition for free on JioCinema. Tata IPL was played between March 31 and May 29, 2023.

JioCinema was locked in an intense battle with Disney Star. JioCinema not only pipped former IPL rights holder Disney+ Hotstar to win the digital rights for the 2023-27 cycle, but with Disney Star continuing to hold the TV rights, a larger TV versus digital contest played out in the 2023 IPL season.

BCCI split the IPL broadcasting rights into digital and TV packages for the first time from the 2023-27 cycle. Until last year, TV and digital IPL rights were a bundled deal, which was held by Star India (now renamed as Disney Star after the merger of the two media giants) and its streaming app Disney+ Hotstar. For the 2023-27 cycle, Disney Star won India TV rights for a bid of Rs 23,575 crore and Reliance-backed Viacom18 (which owns JioCinema app) bagged digital rights for Rs 23,758 crore.

The media & entertainment business includes content arm Jio Studios; distribution business Viacom18 which includes 59 channels, two OTT platforms JioCinema and Voot, movie & digital content production and distribution vertical Viacom18 Studios, experiential entertainment Integrated Network Solutions and merchandising arm Viacom18 Consumer Products.