Even an extended Mahavir Jayanthi and Good Friday weekend has not helped the Indian Premier League (IPL) to impress viewers enough in DLF IPL T20 Season 5. Data from TAM Sports indicates that the average TV rating of the first six matches, for the C&S 4+ in the all India market, is only 3.76.
This is the lowest-ever opening for any IPL season so far.
IPL Season 4 had delivered a rating of 4.63 TVR, which was lesser than the previous seasons and the reason assumed at the time was that IPL had come at the back of a high energy ICC Cricket World Cup. The cumulative reach of the series has also declined from over 10 million viewers to over nine million viewers.
The opening ceremony of IPL Season 5 delivered a rating of 1.16 TVR, which is nearly half the rating of the opening ceremony in Season 4.
The MEC IPL TV Rating Prediction study for this season had estimated the series to deliver an average rating of 3.8 for the C&S 15+ in the all-India market, suggesting an increase of 2.5 per cent over last season. According to various industry experts, given the current ad rate pricing for IPL and the kind of viewership numbers that come on other TV properties, this was a “credible” number.
If the viewership data of recent weeks were to be seen, only a couple of daily TV properties delivered a rating of over 3.8 per cent at an all-India level. Apart from that, it was the likes of Asia Cup and awards shows such as Screen, Filmfare and Zee Cine that had managed similar viewership.
In an earlier conversation with exchange4media, Shubha George, CEO, MEC South Asia explained, “Delivering an average of 3.8 over 72 games in today’s fragmented TV market is creditable. IPL is a premium property and comes with a price tag. It is for marketers and agencies to evaluate whether the premium is necessary for their campaigns at this point. We should not run the risk of simply comparing IPL to its past, but also evaluate its performance vis-à-vis current TV environment.”
However, the rest of the IPL matches would have to score significantly higher even if an average of 3.8 TVR was to be expected from the series.
The IPL Season 5 is being telecast on Multi Screen Media’s Max, and the company intends to take the series to its newest offering, sports channel Six, from 2013.
This season there are nine teams playing 72 matches. MSM has controlled the commercial time on the matches in an attempt for this season to fare better than previous years. The communication exercise around the series, taking it back to the carnival theme, too was higher in decibel compared to previous years with a similar objective.
MEC IPL TV Rating Prediction study has also suggested that there could be a decline in TV viewership due to the online viewership of the games. However, media planners are quick to indicate that online viewership has still not become widespread enough to impact TV in any significant manner. The reason could then point to factors such as fatigue or dwindling IPL interest, but it is too early to make a comment on this yet.
In the case of IPL 5, even though a comparatively poor show, the game has only just begun...