NEW DELHI: A total of 345 million viewers watched the 12th edition of Indian Premier League (IPL) in the first two weeks since the tournament started on 23 March. The viewership witnessed a jump of 14% over last year, for the same period claimed league’s official broadcast partner Star India quoting data from Broadcasting Audience Research Agency or BARC.
The network said that television viewership delivered 29.8 million average impressions for the first two weeks, registering a growth of 21%. As per the weekly (30 March to 5 April) BARC data, Star Sports Hindi emerged as the most watched channel across genres with 1.11 million impressions. Impressions refer to the number of individuals in thousands of a target audience who viewed an event, averaged across minutes. The data includes television viewership both at home and out-of-home.
Last week free-to-air Hindi general entertainment channel Dangal was number one ahead of Star Sports.
Star said that its regional broadcast push has further fuelled IPL viewership growth with Hindi speaking markets (HSM) growing by 24% and South growing by 15% over 2018. As a part to enhance the regional viewership, the network is telecasting matches in eight languages including English, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Bengali as well as Marathi and Malayalam on Sundays.
Star, which is broadcasting kids and family focused feed called Super Funday on Star Gold, said that there has been a growth of 34% in viewership amongst kids over last year touching 4.8 million impressions.
Female viewership - above 15 years - also witnessed an upswing, growing at 21% to reach 10.6 million impressions while male viewership grew at 17% to account for 14.4 million impressions.
Star is currently airing IPL live across 24 channels, up from 10 channels last year. The network, which earned close to ₹2,000 crore from IPL 2018 is expected to touch ₹2,500 crore in ad revenue in IPL 2019, according to media buyers’ estimates.
“Cumulative viewership will always have repeat viewers and first time viewers, so the data has to be taken with a pinch of salt. However, the year-on-year data is on an upward trajectory which is a good thing," said Sandeep Goyal, media veteran and chairman, Mogae Media, a Mumbai-based marketing and communication agency. Goyal added that since IPL started at the end of March, it has managed to bag advertising money from brands’ end-of-the-year as well as beginning of the new financial year marketing budgets. “The advertising has gone up by 40% to 50% with Star running ad slots upto 2, 500 seconds which shows they have significant inventory to load. This is way higher than both T20 and international ODIs," he added.