The ratings war for the Indian Premier League (IPL), which would to a large extent decide the fate of the format for advertisers, has begun. TAM Media Research has released the numbers of the first two days of the IPL T20 series – April 18 and 19, 2008. The data so far released is the national panel data for six metros – Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad – and also for the elite panel for Mumbai and Delhi. The opening ceremony on April 20, 2008 delivered a rating of 2.90 in the metros.
The opening match between Shah Rukh Khan’s Kolkata Knight Riders and Vijay Mallya’s Bangalore Royal Challengers has delivered the highest amongst the three played in the first two days. The match has garnered an 8-plus TVR in the metros. Apart from Kolkata and Bangalore, that have made the highest contribution to these numbers, Mumbai, Delhi and Hyderabad, too, have shown high TRPs.
Of the two matches played on April 19, Chennai Super Kings versus Kings XI Punjab scored around 5 TRPs, which is lower than any other match played in the first two days. Chennai has made very little contribution to the match, and the highest market for this match is Hyderabad.
Rajasthan Royals versus Delhi Dare Devils have delivered almost a 5.5 TRP, and the highest tune-ins here have been from Delhi and Mumbai.
Sandip Tarkas, President, Customer Strategy, Future Group, said, “These are very good numbers from an IPL perspective, in fact, they are slightly better than what we had expected. This is a good sign, but the real test will come in the subsequent days of the Tournament, when we would see how soon loyalties would form, how quickly people would relate to the teams and follow their progress. Another test for IPL would be to sustain these numbers given the onslaught of big properties coming on the general entertainment platform.”
GroupM’s National Director CTG, Prasanth Kumar, agreed and added, “Also, while these are very positive numbers, cricket is often seen from a national standpoint, and we need to wait for all the numbers to come in to really know how these matches have fared. Plus we have to see whether the weekday matches too would be as good as these weekend numbers, and how these numbers are followed across the country.”
TME’s Vice President Divya Radhakrishnan asked, “Where do you get a rating of 8 these days? These are very good numbers, and we are happy. Metros are a tough market to crack, and to get highs like these there certainly leads to good expectations from the all India numbers as well.”
Speaking further on why the Chennai versus Mohali match may not have delivered, these media experts point out at the CAS situation in Chennai. Tarkas said, “Chennai is probably as cricket crazy as Kolkata, but the distribution scenario there is a tough one to handle.”
Another point made is that IPL per se is very good for the sport, and if this format delivers numbers, it takes the game to another level. Radhakrishnan said, “A client of mine put it very well, you just watch the game for the game without worrying on whether India would win or not.” Tarkas elaborated, “Any league of this nature would be followed across, cities are just a shell; the team can be called anything. This is more to do with players. Also, the teams that are consistent with their strategy and approach to the game, are the ones that are successful. We are a long way from that right now but that is how this format works.”
The Elite panel has thrown encouraging numbers for the first match with a TRP of almost 10. The numbers in the following matches have stayed around 5 TRPs. IPL for most is a mix of entertainment and so far the mix is working. The first indications surely have delivered on the hype that the format created but the jury on the format is yet not out.
Team loyalty a paramount factor for IPL: TAM Media Research