IPL gets bigger but TV ratings plummet in opening week
The 15th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL 2022) has gotten bigger with the addition of two new teams and more matches. However, that has not resulted in an increase in TV ratings (TVR) as the world’s richest T20 franchise cricket tournament has seen a huge 33% decline in the opening week.
IPL 2022 began in Mumbai on Saturday, March 26, with the defending champion Chennai Super Kings (CSK) facing Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR). CSK lost the opening game and endured two more losses on the bounce. Five-time champion Mumbai Indians (MI) too has suffered a similar fate – a hat-trick of defeats to begin the campaign.
As two of the most successful IPL teams struggle on the field, off it, there are concerns among advertisers.
The 33% drop in the opening week has raised concerns among the advertisers and sports marketing community over monetisation potential of IPL, especially in the wake of the upcoming auction for the next media rights’ cycle, a report in Economic Times said.
“As per data sourced from subscribers of BARC India, the first eight matches of the IPL 2022 scored a TVR of 2.52, compared to a TVR of 3.75 in the last season. Overall reach of the first week also dropped 14% to 229.06 million, down from 267.7 million in the last year for all India, 2+ years population. Even during the pre-Covid time (2019), the overall reach was at 268 million, while ratings were at 3.85 TVR,” the report stated.
“BARC defines reach as the total number of individuals who viewed the event for at least one minute, whereas TVR also accounts for time spent by a viewer along with the reach. For instance, a 2.5% TVR denotes that either 2.5% of the entire audience saw 100% of the event, or 100% of the audience saw 2.5% of the show,” it added.
The first match of the season – CSK versus KKR and the third game – Punjab Kings against Royal Challengers Bangalore, reached more than 100 million users each, as per the report.
So far, BARC India has officially not shared viewership data on IPL.
An unnamed sports marketing expert said in the report that cumulative reach numbers of IPL 2022 so far are amongst the lowest. “Only the 2016 edition had lower absolute cumulative reach numbers, but the universe was 32% smaller then.”
The dip in TV ratings for IPL comes at a time when the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has invited bids for the tournament’s media rights from 2023 to 2027. According to reports, BCCI is expecting to sell the rights at more than Rs 35,000 crore, in four packages. Star India is the current holder of the IPL broadcast rights.