The Indian Super League (ISL) that kicked off on October 12th has surely been making news. For a cricket loving nation such has India, ISL shows a love for a sport beyond cricket.
Taking this a step forward, as per a letter sent to Ms. Annie Joseph Secretary General of NBA (from ISL’s Leeladhar Singh) the League has decided to allow unrestricted access to member networks of the News Broadcasters Association for the inaugural season.
This arrangement is, however, limited to member networks of the News Broadcasters Association (NBA) and is valid for the inaugural season only.
The first week ratings of the inaugural season of Hero Indian Super League (ISL) showed a good start recording a reach of 74.7 million on the launch day and a reach of 170.6 million in the first week according to TAM data of CS4+ viewers. However, it has to be noted that this reach in viewership are cumulative reach numbers across eight channels, which include Star Sports 2 (English), Star Sports HD2 (English), Star Sports 3 (Hindi), Star Gold (Hindi), Star Utsav (Hindi), Asianet Movies (Malayalam), Jalsha Movies (Bengali) and Suvarna Plus (Kannada). What also aids viewership for ISL is that matches start 06:30 pm onwards (unlike FIFA World Cup matches), reaching a wider audience. According to Star Sports the ratings are 12 times FIFA World Cup 2014 opening day and double of the opening week reach for the FIFA World Cup 2014 (6.3 million day 1 reach and 87.2 million week 1 reach), which was broadcast on Sony SIX and Sony Aath. It has to be noted that due to FIFA being played in Brazil, games in India during the first week began much later (from 09:30 pm onwards), with some matches being played after midnight.
As far as sponsorship goes, apart from Hero, Maruti Suzuki has signed up as Associate Sponsor, PepsiCo India, Amul, Puma, Muthoot Group and Nise Gel have come aboard as Official Partners of the League.
ISL has also made it is logistically easier for news networks to cover the matches spread across eight locations. ISL has eased the accreditation rules for sports journalists, instead of a centralized list, each NBA member network can save air passages and accredit two local journalists and two video journalists for every match venue.