The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has got a reality check from viewers of its marquee event—IPL—with TV ratings having taken a slide in the ongoing edition. The drop has come at a time when BCCI has gone to the market seeking new partners for IPL’s next media rights cycle (2023-27). (IPL 2022 full coverage)
IPL chairman Brijesh Patel, reacting on the issue for the first time, said: “There is a slight dip in viewership, but the numbers are not alarming. I don’t see them having any impact on the media rights sale.”
Although BARC, the TV measurement body in India, hasn’t officially released the viewership numbers, data sourced from media planners suggest that the drop in ratings compared to last year has been around 30% for the first three weeks, while the fourth week saw a recovery of 9% from the third week’s data.
“Things have opened up and people are travelling compared to what we faced in the past two years,” Patel said. “We also believe a lot of people are now watching the games at restaurants, pubs and clubs. What we see is one connection and hundreds of people watching.”
But with BCCI seeking big bucks for the upcoming rights sale–collective (TV + digital) base price is ₹32,890 crore, double of last cycle—at least one broadcaster, Sony, has publicly raised an alarm. “It’s a very aggressive reserve price, there has to be a reality check as TV viewership of IPL has dropped by over 34%, and at a time when the rights are coming up for renewal,” NP Singh, MD and CEO of Sony Pictures Networks India recently told a business daily.
IPL FINAL IN AHMEDABAD
The Board confirmed Ahmedabad’s Narendra Modi stadium as the venue for the IPL final on May 29. After the league matches end in Maharashtra, the Qualifier 1 and Eliminator 1 will be played in Kolkata on May 24 and 25. Qualifier 2 will be played in Ahmedabad on May 27. Following a go-ahead from the state governments, the playoff matches are likely to be played to full capacity.
The Women’s T20 Challenge will be held in Pune from May 23 to May 28.