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Women lead the rise in IPL viewership among Indians

Women lead the rise in IPL viewership among Indians

Abhijit Nair

Published: 31 Oct 2020 9:06 AM GMT

The Indian Premier League 2020 is shattering all its previous viewership records, as per the data released by the Broadcast Audience and Research Council (BARC). The surge in viewership has been such that it has pushed the General Entertainment Channels (GECs) to a wall.

According to the data released by BARC, this year the first four weeks which comprised of 32 matches had registered a viewing time of 7.3 billion minutes and an aggregate reach of 110 million per match. While, the first four weeks in the previous edition had 35 matches with a viewing time of 5.6 billion minutes and an aggregate reach of 99 million per match.

The data shows that there has been a 30% increase in the IPL viewing time compared to the previous edition while the aggregate reach has increased by 11%. The average time spent per match has also seen a 15% increase this season with the audience spending more than 42 minutes per match as compared to 37 minutes in the previous edition.

The surprising aspect though has been the increase in female viewership this year. According to the data from BARC, there has been a whopping 33% increase in female viewership this year as compared to last season. The first week of this year’s IPL had a female viewing time of 3.7 billion minutes in seven matches while the same stood only at 2.8 billion minutes in the first eight matches the previous season.

According to the ex-CEO of sports at Star India, Gautam Thakkar, the increase in female viewership is due to the regionalisation of IPL. While the tournament was broadcasted in eight languages last year, it is been broadcasted in six languages this year.

The data by ICICI securities suggests that due to IPL the viewership of GECs have shown a sharp decline of 7.7% in the period between 19th to 25th September. But this is not true for all the GECs, as the GECs belonging to Star India which broadcast IPL matches have recorded rise in viewership.

The seeds for this tremendous increase in viewership were sown in the very first match of the season when a record 20 crore people had watched the match between Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings.

“Opening match of #Dream11IPL sets a new record! As per BARC, an unprecedented 20 crore people tuned in to watch the match. Highest ever opening day viewership for any sporting league in any country – no league has ever opened as big as this,” tweeted the BCCI secretary after the opening match of the season.

With a substantial increase in the female viewership for the IPL this season, one can only hope that this interest and viewership amongst women remain intact during the upcoming Women’s T20 Challenge. Who knows, if this increase in viewership might well provide the base for a full-fledged Women’s IPL as well.

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