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Last Updated : May 12, 2019 12:02 PM IST | Source:

IPL’s grip over television continues, 2019 may emerge as the best year

IPL’s viewership continues to enjoy growth year-on-year and remains a dynamic and much sought after property on television.​

Maryam Farooqui @farooqui_maryam

Call it the biggest sporting event or a form of worship in a country where cricket is considered by some as a religion, the Indian Premier League (IPL) has over the years kept the television audience entertained. It has repeated the success this year in terms of viewership.

In the first four weeks of this season, it witnessed a viewership of 411 million. Star Sports, in a statement, said that the network registered viewership close to the total tournament reach last year.

This signals to the fact that IPL’s viewership continues to enjoy growth year-on-year, and remains a dynamic and much sought after property on television.​

In 2018, the Star Sports Network had recorded 448 million unique viewers during the IPL 2018 across 17 channels, with an unprecedented 1.4 billion impressions. ‘Impressions’ are the number of individuals in thousands, of a target audience, who viewed an event, averaged across minutes.

This year, IPL went live on as many as 24 channels. Focusing on its localisation strategy, Star enhanced its regional viewership and aired matches on Star Sports Bangla and Tamil and the recently launched Kannada and Telugu channels.

According to BARC (Broadcast Audience Research Council) data, Star India’s Hindi sports channel Star Sports 1 Hindi topped the charts across genres and a big contributor towards this growth has been IPL.

BARC’s week 15 data showed that Star Sports 1 Hindi registered 1,111 million weekly impressions. The channel was also leading the top five sports’ channels and top five sports’ programmes chart, the data suggested.  

Talking about the data, experts were of the opinion that in the future, there is a possibility of sports and news becoming two genres that will attract viewers to television.

As TV penetrates further into semi-urban and rural areas, and TV ownership grows at a faster pace in these town-classes, uptake of IPL (and possibly other sports properties) in regional languages is likely to show a continued upward trend, the BARC said in its report titled ‘IPL - Over the Years’.

This opportunity will not be missed by brands looking to target emerging markets as well those focusing on local markets. Broadcasts in more regional will further aid this process.

But 2019 witnessed more interesting trends. One of them is the increase in female viewership for the tournament. While there was a marginal increase in viewership share of female viewers in the 2018 edition too, this year female viewership in the first four weeks recorded a 15 percent increase. Average impressions for women have grown from 8.8 million per match in 2018 to 10.1 million this year.

Along with television, IPL created a lot of buzz on social media and generated 9.5 million conversations across platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, blogs, forums, online and mainstream news and consumer forums, as of April 16, a study by media, content and technology agency Wavemaker suggests.

Season 12 of the twenty-twenty tournament has surpassed IPL 2017, which registered 6.19 million conversations. It is estimated that by the end of the tournament, this IPL season would generate 20 million conversations – more than IPL 2018 that generated 16.7 million conversations.
First Published on May 12, 2019 12:02 pm
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