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Business News/ Sports / Cricket News/  IPL 2023 opening match TV viewership up 29%, digital claims peak concurrency of 1.6 cr

New Delhi: The latest season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) has started with a big bang with viewers coming back to watch the cricket extravaganza across TV and digital platforms.

Disney Star, the TV rights holder, said citing BARC India data that the opening match between the defending champions Gujarat Titans and four-time winners Chennai Super Kings recorded a 29% increase in its ratings on Star Sports channels, compared to the first match last season.

Disney Star claimed that the consumption went up by 47% to 8.7 billion minutes on IPL opening day. While 140 million viewers tuned in for the live broadcast on opening day, 130 million watched the first match.

“The massive growth in viewing time is a testament to the success of our campaign, focus on building our broadcast, continuing dominance of linear television as the preferred platform for viewing of live cricket and most of all, the relationship we share with cricket fans. This also reiterates the popularity of the tournament as the premier cricket tournament in the world. We will continue to stay committed in our endeavour of serving fans through the power of storytelling, the best-in-class coverage and customisation at scale," said Sanjog Gupta, head of sports at Disney Star.

Meanwhile, Viacom18, the streaming rights holder for the IPL claimed that it recorded a peak concurrency of 1.6 crore on the opening day, while 6 crore viewers watched the match. In a statement on Monday, the Reliance Industries-controlled company said that for the first weekend, its per-viewer average time spent per match touched 57 minutes, which it said was 60% more than the last year. Overall, JioCinema clocked 147 crore video views, it said.

“Digital is targetable, addressable and interactive, unlike legacy services, its measurement is based on the exact number of people who come in to watch and not subjective extrapolation from a small sample set. What we witnessed through the opening weekend is a testimony of the faith viewers have shown in the offerings to make the league more accessible, and affordable," said Viacom18’s sports CEO, Anil Jayaraj.

JioCinema had claimed that it registered over 2.5 crore downloads, a record for the most installed app in a single day, on March 31. Over the weekend, it said it has amassed over 10 crore new viewers and five crore new app downloads.

As per (earlier App Annie), a mobile and digital insights company, JioCinema clocked new downloads of 1.08 crore on March 30 and 79 lakh on March 31.

Viacom18 outbid Disney Star by paying 23,757 crore for IPL streaming rights for the five years cycle, while Disney Star retained the linear TV rights for 23,575 crore. This is also the first time that two rival networks will have the IPL rights. The 2023 season of the BCCI-backed league, kicked off on 31st March in Ahmedabad.

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Varuni Khosla
Varuni Khosla is a journalist with close to 14 years of experience in writing business news stories for mainstream newspaper companies like Mint and The Economic Times. She reports and writes on luxury and lifestyle brands, hospitality and tourism news, the business of sports, the business of advertising and marketing and alcohol brands.
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Updated: 04 Apr 2023, 12:55 PM IST
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