Indian Premier League 2020 (IPL) saw 23 percent growth in the viewing minutes, according to recently released data by Broadcast Audience Research Council India (BARC).
The cricket league which last year recorded 326 billion viewing minutes, this year has registered 400 billion viewing minutes on TV.
According to BARC data, IPL 2020 is the first sports tournament to cross the 400 billion viewing minutes.
The previous record in terms of highest viewership recorded by a sporting league was held by last year’s cricket (ODI) World Cup which garnered 344 billion viewing minutes.
When it comes to number of people who watched the league, as many as 405 million viewers tuned into watch the IPL this year.
“We are encouraged by the growth we have seen in southern markets driven by our regional feeds and higher consumption across demographics especially in rural markets and amongst kids,” said Sanjog Gupta, Head – Sports, Star India.
In the first four weeks of the league, with a total of 32 matches, the IPL registered 7.3 billion viewing minutes and a cumulative reach of 110 million per match. Last year, the league recorded 5.6 billion viewing minutes and had a cumulative reach of 99 million during the first four weeks, which had 35 matches.
The average time spent per match in this year's IPL has increased by 15 percent, with viewers spending over 42 minutes watching the IPL this season versus 37 minutes last season.
Overall, IPL 13 has registered 233.9 billion viewing minutes and has been watched by 361 million viewers in the first four weeks of the league.
In the opening week, the tournament had garnered 269 million viewers and 60.6 billion viewing minutes.
While men may be watching the IPL more, women are not far behind. Indeed, female viewership for the 13th season of the IPL has grown 33 percent as compared to season 12.
In the opening week of the IPL this year, female viewership was recorded at 3.7 billion viewing minutes for the first seven matches. On the other hand, 2.8 billion viewing minutes were recorded for the first eight matches last year.
Along with TV, over the top (OTT) platform Disney+Hotstar which was streaming the IPL, saw the league grabbing attention of online viewers.
An ICICI Securities report notes that Disney+ Hotstar saw a 99 percent week-on-week rise in its user base in the opening week and the IPL is likely to be the driver for this growth.