Having taken on the broadcasting of the Indian Premier League this year, Star India reports a drop in viewership every night after 10:30 PM. The matches have been stretched longer than scheduled and extends beyond 23:20 PM which affects the sleep cycle of Indians, as a report states.
Although the Indian Premier League has become an integral part of most of the country, viewers have to battle against drowsiness every night as the matches go on late. Star India reported that the ratings are on a rise but they are not consistent through a match, on any given day. The reason for this is the extension of time beyond the scheduled 11:20 PM end time as sometimes the matches extend to midnight and the presentation ceremony takes it further away from the schedule.
It is noted that the drop in viewership usually occurs around 10:45 PM as the general assumed
Managing Director of Star India, Sanjay Gupta, told Indian Express that there was a nearly 40-50% drop around 11 PM. According to him, one of the major reasons for the delay is the introduction of the Umpire Decision Review System (DRS).
“The drop starts at 10.45 pm to about 25% and then it increased progressively. The last half hour in a normal match should be your highest number of viewers. If you compare it to what you call an opportunity cost, the gap could be as high as 50 percent. Most of small-town India and a large part of urban India start sleeping around 11-11.30 pm. Even entertainment programs peak before 10 pm and dip thereafter,” Gupta said.
This decline in ratings could be one of the primary reasons why all the IPL playoffs are now rescheduled to an hour earlier, that is, at 7 PM instead of 8. An earlier report had stated that Star India had asked the BCCI to advance the match start by an hour but was turned down as IPL Chairman Rajeev Shukla was more interested in taking the side of the franchises who said that the stadiums did not fill up at that time.
“Roughly the matches are ending half-hour later at around 11.55 pm to midnight broadly. We think there will be a dramatic increase in people who will be available from 7-11 pm as compared to 8 pm to midnight just because of that last one hour,” Gupta speculated.