Industry POV

IPL viewership sees 9.2% drop in week 4

15 May, 2016

The event garnered a total of 133.28 million impressions across five channels between 30 April and 9 May

New Delhi: The ninth season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) saw a 9.2% decline in viewership in week four, recording 133 million impressions for the nine matches played between 30 April and 6 May.

According to data released by television viewership measurement agency Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) India on Thursday, IPL garnered a total of 133.28 million impressions across five channels—Sony Max, Sony Six, Sony Six HD, Sony ESPN and Sony ESPN HD—during the week, compared with 146.82 million impressions for nine matches in the previous week.

Impressions refer to the number of individuals in thousands of a target audience who viewed an event, averaged across minutes.

That’s not all. Sony Max, which was the most-watched channel between 23 April and 29 April, tumbled to the second spot. Sun TV became No. 1 one with 907.2 million impressions, while Sony Max recorded a total of 881.52 million impressions in the fourth week.

The lower viewership does not augur well for the official broadcaster as well as the sponsors.

Explaining the possible reason behind the decline, Rohit Gupta, president of network sales at Sony Pictures Network, said, “This could be because the time-spend has come down due to power cuts in Uttar Pradesh.”

However, he insisted that there was “good growth” as the IPL’s reach increased to 316 million individuals from 296 million last week. Coverage or cumulative reach is the number of individuals (’000s) who viewed at least one of the events in a set of events, according to BARC.

The current edition of IPL is being sponsored by brands such as Vivo, Yes Bank and Vodafone.

While Vivo declined to comment on the latest viewership numbers, Rajat Mehta, senior president and country head, brand and retail marketing, Yes Bank, said, “The numbers don’t have any historic comparison since this is the first year that the BARC ratings are being used. But the overall numbers look very healthy and above most expectations. IPL is the only property that has consistently delivered over such a long period.”

According to media buyers, the drop in viewership is not substantial for broadcasters and sponsors to be immediately alarmed. “The drops may be natural... The numbers, so far, have been steady, but this drop needs to be watched in the coming weeks,” said Ashish Bhasin, chairman and CEO, Dentsu Aegis Network South Asia.

There are 26 matches that are yet to be played in this season, including the semi-finals and the final, which will be held on 29 May in Bengaluru.