IPL 2012 April 20, 2012

TV ratings for IPL continue to fall


Television ratings for the IPL have continued to fall in comparison to 2011, but observers say the IPL is still a "very successful media property" and when it comes to ratings, it has been a victim of its own initial success.

The average Television Viewer Ratings (TVR) for the first 16 games of 2012 was 3.65, down 8.75% from the average of 4.00 at the same point last season. (TVR is a time-weighted figure which accounts for time spent by viewers in addition to the number of viewers). The cumulative number of people who tuned in to watch those games also declined from 127.40 million to 122.44 million, a drop of 3%, according to TAM Sports, a division of Tam Media Research, the leading television ratings agency in India ("Cumulative reach" is the number of individuals who watched a channel/programme for at least one minute).

However, the continued popularity of the league in relation to other television channels was reflected in the IPL [shown on Set Max] claiming the top five highest rated shows for the week from April 8 to April 14 and seven of the top 10, as reported by IndianTelevision.com. The game that drew the highest rating was Mumbai Indians' Kieron Pollard-inspired defeat of Rajasthan Royals on April 11, which posted a TVR of 5.26. Mumbai Indians' last-ball victory over Deccan Chargers on April 9 finished a close second, with a rating of 5.2.

"Viewership may have dropped but give me any other property that gives that kind of TVRs," Hiren Pandit, Managing Partner-Entertainment, Sports and Partnerships at Group M, a prominent media buying agency, told ESPNcricinfo. "That in itself says everything. The story is about, are you comparing the IPL to the IPL or are you comparing it to something else.

"What we need to keep in mind is that any repeat has also delivered lower TVRs. At some point, it will settle down."

Typically, if a television program on a general entertainment channel posts an average TVR of 4.00, it is considered to be a success. At this stage in 2010, the IPL had an average rating for 4.61. However, with the IPL on television screens every day for seven weeks, even an average of 3.65 is an indication of a show with a strong appeal. "Getting a three-something TVR is not bad at all," Santosh Desai, brand analyst and managing director of Future Brands, said. "To get it consistently on a daily basis is excellent. There is nothing that compares. You are talking about a very successful media property."

Of course, none of this is to say the league does not have its concerns. Prior to the season starting on April 4, Sony had reportedly only sold 60-70% of its total inventory (at a rate of around Rs 5 lakhs for a ten-second spot) and has fewer advertisers this year than last. Executives at Sony did not respond to calls or text messages seeking comment.

According to Desai, the IPL's biggest problem is that it was overpriced at the very beginning, with too many people trying to squeeze too much money out of it. Viewership for the tournament is also based on sentiment, he said, and sentiment can change very quickly. "When the tide turns, then it can turn dramatically."

One potential explanation for the decline in ratings, Desai said, is that some of the non-cricketing audiences that took to the IPL in earlier years are now returning to their normal viewing habits. "The moment you decide to watch the IPL, you decide not to watch something else. So I think what you are seeing is a tipping of the balance back and a return to normal programming by the non-cricketing audience."

Pandit expects the ratings to be improve thanks the recent spate of close games and said that in the ultimate analysis, the league's continued appeal with viewers will depend on the quality of the cricket and not the entertainment that surrounds it. If the matches are exciting, then "you don't want to miss out when someone in the office tells you, 'did you see the match last night?'"

Tariq Engineer is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on April 23, 2012, 12:34 GMT

    Becuase of Power failure in south India the IPL TV watching rate has come down

  • Geoffrey on April 23, 2012, 11:57 GMT

    Funny that everyone is defending the IPL when it is clear that the bubble has burst. People want country vs country (at least outside India)- I wonder what the viewership would be if Pakistan toured India for a test series?

  • Dummy4 on April 23, 2012, 4:02 GMT

    i think we can't just look at the viewer that are watching on television what about people that watch online

  • babai on April 22, 2012, 12:32 GMT

    yaaahhhhh :) .. u ppl r not interested in IPL .. and thats why u r commenting abt IPL.. ;)

  • Dummy4 on April 22, 2012, 11:52 GMT

    I am surprised to see IPL has made English and Ausiee's so emotional. They have last their rational thinking and in hate of IPL they started hating T20 in all. This shows the sucess of IPL and envy around.

    I can understand the commendators from the coutries. Most of these guys had played very few One dayers and they had trouble accepting one dayers and you can't expect nothing more from these guy's :-) Its time for channels to replace them with folks who understand modern cricket well.

    IPL haters who read IPL info with great interest this is the reason for drop in IPL viewership. - the reason for drop in viewership in IPL this and last year is our neibhouring Pakistani players have not participated and this has taken interest out of them and the bad part is they are more populous than English & Ausiee put togather and do not think anybody will dare comment on viewership once they are back.

  • Shehan on April 22, 2012, 9:48 GMT

    I have to say the IPL is centered by commercial interest just like otherr major sports events such as F1. Its great for players who doesn't represent their country but good enough to play with the big boys. Being fair by the players cricketers careers are unpredictable hence this is a good opportunity for them to get paid maximum for their skills. Nothing wrong at all in this. If you or myself had this opportunity we would love to be apart of the event. But the issue is the fact that some players chose IPL cricket over playing for their country. Earlier these kind of events were a vehicle for talented cricketers to show their skills and play for their respective countries. Now they use their representation for their country to play for the IPL. This is where things are going wrong with world cricket. And eventually playing for your country which was and is a great honor suddenly doesn't look so important to most!!! Hope sanity prevails.

  • Rohan on April 22, 2012, 8:48 GMT

    it will rise this week bcoz.....SACHIN IS BACK ON FIELD!! ;)

  • karthik on April 22, 2012, 7:54 GMT

    Just like the case with most movie sequels, the reduction in IPL 5 viewership/popularity is bound to happen as the novelty/freshness is gone, but still it's pretty good. Also, internet viewership must be taken into account. Future IPLs would be better if no. of matches reduce from 75 to 45/50. Otherwise its long and boring during the middle weeks. As for IPL vs ODI+Tests, all 3 formats are exciting in their own ways - they will survive and its boards' responsibility that scheduling is properly done to balance the 3 formats. currently that's not the case, hopefully it will improve. Bilateral series should have - 2 three-day-warm-up-matches, 3 Tests, 3 T20s, 3 ODIs (in that order) with 2-day gaps b/w any 2 matches (1 day for T20) so the tour will finish in ~1.5 months. IPL should be from apr15-may25, then 1 month break for indian players before any international cricket. Finally, players are solely responsible for IPL-indulging (nothing wrong as its too tempting!), no need to blame IPL!!

  • Dummy4 on April 22, 2012, 2:41 GMT

    the internet streaming surely must have doubled if not more this year.....many students are watching the ip on their mobiles using the net.....matches sure have become intresing and SACHIN IS YET TO COMEBACK.....his comeback will see a lot of trp increasing

  • Dummy4 on April 21, 2012, 20:43 GMT

    @lillian... i understand u hate IPL... but the idea of comparing IPL with EPL/BPL is flawed... football is a global sport while cricket is played only in few countries... EPL started more than 100 years old while IPL is only 5 years old... so no sane person will be comparing them... it will be like comparing the knowledge of 5 year old wid a graduate... IPL is not corrupting players... its helping players to earn more money... The players wont ditch their country if their respective boards give them a fair wage... the players are also humans and they also want to earn money to live... and u should also know IPL means Indian premier league and not Sub continent premier league.. and IPL teams have more local players than EPL teams...

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