Midway through the IPL season, Star sees a 30% increase in audience per game compared to last year

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NEW DELHI : Despite the opening of cinemas, restaurants and bars, cricket fans across the country are still clinging to the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL), which kicked off on September 19 in the United Arab Emirates. A total of 361 million viewers watched 32 games in the first four weeks of the tournament played between September 19 and October 16. The total number of listening minutes for this period was 233.9 billion.

The figures, provided by the Broadcast Audience Research Council (Barc) India, represent viewers over the age of two who watched the matches live on 21 TV channels from Star India, the official broadcast network of the T20 tournament.

Year over year, IPL 2020 continues to deliver Audience, Reach and Average Time Spent (ATS) performance. Despite fewer matches (32), the first four weeks of the current edition of IPL saw a 30% increase over last year in viewership per match, which stood at 7.3 billion. In 2019, listening minutes stood at 5.6 billion for 35 games. A total of 110 million viewers watched the league per game compared to 99 million last year, registering a jump of 11%. The engagement measure was also positive, with average time spent witnessing a 15% increase over 2019. In the first four weeks of the current season, fans have spent an average of over 42 minutes per IPL game, up from 37 minutes last year.

IPL is Star India’s largest cricket property, exceeding ₹2,000 crore in advertising revenue in 2019. He hopes to cross that revenue figure this year, despite the disruption of covid-19. In an interview with Mint Gautam Thakar, former CEO, Star Sports said that despite the huge demand and the expected record number of viewers, the network has not increased the prices of advertising space by keeping it the same as expected. for March 2020. The IPL is typically scheduled between April and May which has been postponed due to containment this year.

Despite the covid disruption, Star’s big advantage has been the long advertising hiatus for most brands and the pre-Diwali window where advertisers have saved big media budgets for IPL, not just for TV, but also for its over-the-top (OTT) Disney + Hotstar video streaming platform where Star has invested heavily by introducing several innovative fan engagement features. The network has attracted a variety of advertisers looking to target an engaged viewer base.

Noting that the response from advertisers to the league has been excellent, Sujata Dwibedy, group sales manager, Amplifi, Dentsu said that because IPL inventory is limited, it runs out early.

“I think Disney + Hotstar hit their targets a long time ago. The pricing of advertising space for the OTT platform is different from that of TV and therefore cannot be compared. While many active IPL advertisers have stayed away from TV advertising as they have to plan for the next season which will play out in March 2021, the new set of online companies, waiting to capitalize on a large property scale like IPL, more than made up for their absence, ”she added.

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