The Indian Premier League (IPL) Season 5 has so far painted an extremely gloomy picture for advertisers, agencies and the broadcaster Max.
On an average, the series has thrown some of the lowest ratings that IPL has witnessed since its inception. In the first six matches, IPL 5 ratings were over 12 per cent lower than IPL season 4 numbers. However, as per TAM Sports, if the average of the first 27 matches and 26 matches of IPL 5 and IPL 4 are compared, there is a 9 per cent different between the average ratings, season 5 delivering an average of 3.53 TVR and season four delivering 3.88. The ratings are for C&S 4+ in the all India market.
Some media planners state that this is a good sign for the tourney but a few others pointed out that IPL should not be compared to previous years but to other properties on television at present.
If match-wise ratings were observed, of the first 27 matches, according to an exchange4media analysis of data from TAM Media Research, 10 matches have rated 4 plus. Amin Lakhani, Principle Partner, Mindshare India stated, “How many properties do you see that deliver this kind of numbers. I believe the average is easily 4.6 TVR this season, and there is no property that delivers this kind of viewership.”
The ‘Dada’ factor in Pune Warriors India
The last four top scoring matches have all involved Pune Warriors India. Not only are the stadiums full for these matches but there is also interest in viewing Pune Warriors play on television. Lakhani observed that the Pune team’s ability to “take all matches to the last ball” and “Dada’s magic”, whose fans are watching him not only Kolkata but all over India, are working out for the team.
Echoing a similar sentiment, Anindya Ray, Vice President, Lodestar UM said, “It is clearly Dada’s impact on viewership. Beginning from Yuvraj Singh’s illness to the team almost pulling out of IPL, this man has done a great job in bringing the team together and winning. At the age of 40, he is performing and is in the top 10 trending topics on Twitter. Dada has consistently featured in the top three of the 10 trending topics.”
Since IPL viewership can be dependent on team loyalty, the fact that Pune Warriors India has clicked with the viewers is good news for the tournament. At the same time however, there are those franchisees also that do not enjoy much fan loyalty.
Of highs and lows...
The second half of the series has also seen the lowest ratings of the tourney so far. As the series progresses, some of these numbers are expected to drop further, where only specific team fans will continue to follow the series.
Two matches played on April 17 and April 19, both including Deccan Chargers, have rated below 2 TVR. Ray explained, “The viewers are very intelligent - they know which match to watch and which not to watch. Deccan Chargers ratings will be very low because they have been losing. If you see history, Kolkata Knight Riders, Chennai Super Kings, Delhi Dare Devil are the teams which have had more fan following.”
Agreeing with this, Lakhani added, “There will also be uncertainty around afternoon match ratings. The numbers are good in Karnataka and South. Overall it is not wow but certainly above average.”
IPL reach on the other hand is expected to increase further.
Franchisees need to keep the communication with viewers going to keep on building on team fan following. A point that agency professionals stated is that enthusiasm around IPL, after five years, is still there and that is one of the biggest strengths for this tournament.
(With inputs from Suraj Ramnath)