Disney’s India Subsidiary Announces Starverse Metaverse Ahead of IPL 2023

The Disney Star network boasts a viewership of about 790 million per month across India and more than 100 countries.
Image source: exchange4media.com

Quick take:

  • Disney Star has announced Starverse.
  • The company wants to bring India’s biggest sports competition to the metaverse.
  • Disney Star, formerly Star India, is a subsidiary of the media conglomerate Disney.

Disney Star has announced the Starverse metaverse platform. The India-based media giant wants to launch the platform during the 2023 India Premier League, the country’s biggest sporting competition.

Starverese will allow fans to experience sporting events in immersive 3D. The platform has been tested for proof of concept over the past several months, Economic Times reported. 

Commenting on the Starverse launch, Sanjog Gupta, the Head of Sports, Star & Disney India said: “Our metaverse is called the Starverse and the first iteration of this is an immersive 3D ecosystem for the sports fan. The sports genre organically lends itself to a multi-platform, multi-modal, and communal experience.”

Gupta said that after testing the 3D experience and user behaviour in immersive spaces, it was time to roll it out and allow users at scale to enter the Starverse. The platform will be offered via the web, rather than a downloadable app to ease accessibility.

Disney Star boasts a viewership of about 790 million per month across India and 100 other countries. The company was previously called Star India before rebranding to Disney Star in 2022.

Launching the Starverse in time for the 2023 Indian Premier League gives the IPL’s 426 million-a-season viewers an opportunity to experience this year’s cricket competition in the metaverse.

Sporting events have become one of the main avenues of onboarding masses to the metaverse with the Australian Open recently streaming their second successive tournament in the 3D virtual space. The National Basketball Association, the FIFA World Cup and Hong Kong Rugby 7s are other competitions streamed in the metaverse.

This is not the first time Disney or a company affiliated with the global media conglomerate has made a foray into the metaverse.

In September 2022, whilst avoiding being drawn into the metaverse debate, Disney CEO Bob Chapek revealed the company’s plans for the future of the entertainment industry including leveraging emerging technologies to improve storytelling experiences.

Chapek revealed that Disney was planning to use data obtained from metaverse visits to create personalised experiences for consumers with content from some of the company’s leading content producers (Marvel and Lucasfilm studios).

The company also launched a startup accelerator program for non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and metaverse projects last July, naming Polygon, Flickplay, Lockerverse, Inworld, Obsess and Red 6 among other web3 companies in the program.

In January 2022, Disney filed a technology patent for “Virtual World Simulator”, which allows users to enjoy augmented reality experiences without wearing a VR or AR headset.


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