New Delhi: The 10th season of the T20 cricket tournament Indian Premiere League (IPL) saw a 7.5% decline in viewership in its third week, recording 214 million impressions for the 10 matches played between 15 April and 21 April.
IPL had recorded a total of 231.3 million impressions in the previous week across five channels—Sony Max, Sony Six, Sony Six HD, Sony ESPN and Sony ESPN HD— according to data from television viewership ratings agency Broadcast Audience Research Council (Barc) India.
During the week, IPL reached 339 million viewers, 17% higher than last year.
Impressions refer to the number of individuals in thousands of a target audience who viewed an event, averaged across minutes. Reach is the number of target households in thousands where the event was viewed for at least one minute.
The official broadcasters for IPL matches are Sony Max, Sony Six (high definition and standard definition) and Sony ESPN (high definition and standard definition).
Despite the drop, Sony Max continued to top the viewership charts across genres (as on last week) with 1,316.2 million impressions between 15 April and 21 April (week 16 of 2017), followed by Tamil language general entertainment channel Sun TV which ruled the television charts for the first 14 weeks of 2017. Sun TV recorded 1130.6 million impressions during the week.
The match played between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Gujarat Lions garnered the highest viewership during the week with 28.3 million impressions, closely followed by a match between Kings XI Punjab and Mumbai Indians, which recorded 28.2 million impressions.
Media buyers said that the drop in viewership is not substantial for sponsors and the broadcasters to be concerned. “The drop is not significant and overall, the viewership has been very stable. There have been no dramatic drops or jumps. Plus, the viewership also depends on the matches and teams and also the fact that it is an afternoon match or an evening one," said Anita Nayyar, chief executive officer of Havas Media Group, India and South Asia.
Interestingly, Sony Pictures Network has seen a 59% growth in the rural viewership of IPL this year over the last season. The rural markets are currently contributing 46% to the overall viewership of IPL, compared with 38% last year.