Indian Premier League 2011 May 16, 2011

IPL TV ratings continue to plunge


Through IPL 2011, ESPNcricinfo will be tracking TV ratings using the TAM People Meter, India's leading TV ratings system. This is the fourth installment in the weekly series

The 2011 IPL continued to take a beating in the television ratings stakes, with the average rating for the first 49 games dropping 25.52% from the previous year across six key markets.

The average Television Viewer Rating (TVR), a time-weighted figure which accounts for time spent watching by viewers and the number of viewers, was 3.94 across the cities of Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad, down from 5.29 in 2010, according to TAM Sports, a division of TAM Media Research, the leading television ratings agency in India. It is the first time the average ratings for the IPL have fallen below 4.

A report by IIFL Institutional Equities, a brokerage firm, said that tournament ratings have fallen because of a combination of too much cricket and the shuffling of players between the teams, which has diluted fan loyalty. However, Akash Chattopadhyay, an analyst with IIFL who co-wrote the report, expects the ratings to pick up as the tournament enters its final stages. "We are of the opinion that ratings may pick up during the last knock-out match -- to the tune of 8 TVR (television ratings points). But overall, the series would be nowhere close to the first edition."

Another sign of the IPL's loosening grip on the attention of the viewer has been the strength of the Hindi general entertainment genre (Hindi GEC). In years past, the IPL has siphoned women away from their soaps but this season the Hindi entertainment channels' share of total viewership has been steady. It was 26% in the month leading up to the tournament and 25% during the first month of the IPL. Instead, Set Max has stolen viewers away from the sports channels, whose share has dropped from 11% during the World Cup to 1% while the Hindi movie genre, to which Set Max belongs, has seen its share rise from 10 to 18%.

The two matches that were the biggest draws between May 1 and May 7 both involved Mumbai Indians. Their win over Pune Warriors had the highest rating of 5.39, with 21 million people tuning in to watch, suggesting that a strong regional rivalry could develop between the teams. The second most popular game was Mumbai's win over Delhi Daredevils that knocked the latter out of the race for the play-offs. It had a TVR of 4.95, and also drew 21 million viewers.

The least popular game over the last week was Chennai Super Kings' trouncing of Rajasthan Royals that was surrounded by the controversy over the selection of the pitch for the game. It was watched by 12 million and had a TVR of just 2.09.

Tariq Engineer is a senior sub-editor at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Kaleem on May 19, 2011, 10:26 GMT

    With Ravi Shastri giving commentary, this is not a surprise.

  • Harvey on May 18, 2011, 23:56 GMT

    @duralsumo The IPL is the ONLY cricket that's available on terresestrial TV in England, which is actually pretty good marketing on the part of the IPL organisers. I don't know why you think they're not promoting it here. @maddy20 Australia and England don't have a population of 1bn+, so will never get a TV audience for domestic cricket of anywhere near that size. Besides, domestic (and even international) cricket in England is only available on subscription-only channels, so most people here unfortunately can't watch it without forking out a hefty subscription. Most English cricket fans are already bored with T20 in any case, and the popularity of the format has been declining here for some time. It was very popular when it was in small doses, but it just got too much. I'm not surprised to see the same thing starting to happen in India, where T20 hasn't been around for as long, but the overkill has been even greater than it has been in England.

  • Rupesh on May 17, 2011, 19:15 GMT

    The factor that has most affected the ratings is the almost total reshuffling of the teams. People need a consistent team to identify with. One or two players can change, but not the whole team. With wholesale changes in the teams after just 3 years, people find it hard to get excited about some other guys that were playing somewhere else just last year. After one or two years, the ratings will get better. But then they will want to change the whole thing again. A secondary reason is the world cup hangover. A lot of excitement has been drained out after the long world cup, and people are not starved for cricket.

  • Allrounder on May 17, 2011, 18:40 GMT

    I think Modi is definitely a factor.The innovaton he brought to IPL , each successive year was a revelation like roping in You tube etc. Also addition of 2 new teams has been a drag. Also people have started to crib about the earnings of the players with respect to their performance. I think people have started to believe that players play only for the sake of money and they really don't care what is their team performance as long as they themsleves put up a ok show, so that they will be bid by someone at the auctions.Its all money, money dear. And also the presense of Saba, Rohan gavaskar in the studios , who are no big guns does not interest the cricket lovers. If you have people of genuine calibre like Ian Chapell, Sourav Ganguly , Michael holding present in the studio will boost viewer interest.

  • Sacheen on May 17, 2011, 18:25 GMT

    Too long.. too many games.. and too many selfish players who dump their countries for money.. This is a downhill journey I'm afraid.. and the timing was aweful; just after winning the WC.. terrible to watch IPL after WC..

  • Harsh on May 17, 2011, 18:14 GMT

    TV rating is low compare to what/which cricket? Show me the TV Ratings of other Cricket that was happening at the moment of IPL or even show me the tv ratings of non-IPL season of other cricket tourny. Thanks p.s.: no, world cup rating doesn't qualify.

  • Vikram on May 17, 2011, 18:03 GMT

    the tv ratings will keep dropping,,this is a definite overkill of cricket,,am a cricket buff,,even then,IPL immediately after the world cup and to top it all,,with the format being so extended,,it makes everything so dull and IPL is clearly off colour. Enough of IPL. Although the players make a quick and big buck,one has to feel sorry for them as niggles can turn into career threatening injuries. One can imagine their plight in travelling,,staying in hotels,,packing,,unpacking,,game after game,,,,utter non sense.

  • asif on May 17, 2011, 15:26 GMT

    i am really happy to see the ratings down as members pointed out...its a disgrace for cricket and either it should not take place or have only indian players as participants (which will never happen). I ask all of you a question, had india won the world cup if it had been staged after a grueling IPL? we have lost sehwaag, do not know the conditions of Zaheer our only international bowler....its complete garbage.

  • amit on May 17, 2011, 14:34 GMT

    there sud never be more than 40-42 games . Definitely its the overdose which kills interest .

  • MOHAMMED on May 17, 2011, 13:38 GMT

    i feel i know the reason and i also know tht most of you know this too but dont want to admit it. if u see the first IPL it topped the tvr and after tht there has been a frequent drop in the tvr thanks to the exclusion of pak players, yes i know most of u wil disagree wit this but thts the fact , pak players do generate viewership and people in india do wnt to see pak players either to play wit indian or to play against indian they wil take both. so i feel its a high time now tht they remove this useless ban on pak players and try to bring them inn in the next edtion and i m 200% sure the tvr will break the first edition of the ipl. As i dont see any wrong in calling pak players in the ipl, and if they wnt to ban then ban the entire people of pak no singers, no comedian, no politician, no actors ......... why they wnt to limit the ban only to the crickters thts really hard to digest i hope BCCI has a logical explanation to this rule of baning Cricketers.

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