Pipped by organizers to be the most-watched IPL season of all time, the first week of the 2020 edition of the competition was reportedly watched by a mind-boggling 269 million viewers, 11 million more than the 2019 edition. There is also said to have been a 32% spike in viewership in OTT platforms.
Thanks to India being partially under lockdown and thanks to several corporate organizations voluntarily granting work-from-homes to their employees, the 2020 edition of the Indian Premier League was primed to be the most-watched edition in the competition’s history. Brijesh Patel, chairman of the IPL, and Sourav Ganguly, President of the BCCI, ahead of the tournament, claimed the same, and the very first match between Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians delivered, with over 20 crore people watching the game - a record for the opening day of any sporting event in the country’s history.
More numbers have now emerged and the first week of the tournament, which did not feature any double-headers, is said to have been watched by a whopping 269 million viewers. The figures have seen an 11 million spike as compared to the subsequent numbers in the 2019 edition but it is not just the viewership numbers, as there is also said to have been a 15 per cent hike in advertising volume as compared to the 2019 edition.
According to NDTV, who quoted BARC-Nielsen as the source, “there was a 21 per cent growth in the average impressions per match as compared to 2019 even as there was one match less and fewer channels as compared to last season.”
It is not just television viewership that has seen a bump, though, as according to multiple reports, there has been a 32% viewership spike in OTT Platforms, mainly due to an increase in traffic in Disney+Hotstar. The overall figures for video streaming, in general, is believed to have gone up by 13%, while smartphone usage, in itself, is also understood to have seen an 8% spike in the opening week of the IPL, as compared to weeks prior to the commencement of the tournament.
Hindi viewership is believed to have ranked number one, and, overall, the first seven matches are rumoured to have garnered a total of 60.6 billion viewing minutes. The average impression for the first week of the tournament, which stood at 32.2 m in the 2019 edition, is said to have jumped to 39 million (21% spike) and while the season-opener between MI and CSK is believed to have generated 52 million impressions, the other games are said to have attracted more than 34 million impressions, with each match, individually, attracting over 100 million users.
While these numbers are both ludicrous and encouraging, according to a TOI report, there could be an even bigger spike in the coming weeks, due to the festival (Diwali) season.