The second season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) kick-started on April 18 in South Africa, with the inaugural match being played between the Chennai Super Kings and the Mumbai Indians, followed by the second match on the same day between the Rajasthan Royals and the Royal Challengers Bangalore.
The aMap ratings for both the matches are out. According to aMap data, C&S 15+ (6 metros), the first and the second matches of IPL Season 2 delivered an average rating of 3.6 and 3.8 respectively. In comparison, during the first season of IPL, the first match between the Kolkata Knight Riders and the Royal Challengers Bangalore garnered an average TVR of 4.3 (C&S 15+, 6 metros).
However, in terms of reach, on a broader age group level (C&S 4+, 6 metros), the IPL Season 2 matches had more viewers tuning in to their television sets in comparison to the previous series. For instance, the first match between the Chennai Super Kings and the Mumbai Indians reached out to 7 million viewers, while the second match between the Rajasthan Royals and the Royal Challengers Bangalore was watched by 8.1 million viewers.
In comparison, last year, the opening match of IPL Season 1 between the Kolkata Knight Riders and the Royal Challengers Bangalore was watched by 5.6 million people (C&S 4+, 6 metros).
Explaining the reason behind this, he says, "The possible reason behind this is that both the matches turned out to be rather low scoring matches in comparison to matches played on Indian pitches last year. Also, the winning team (Rajasthan Royals) and the runner-up (Chennai Super Kings) from the last season failed to impress."
Mona Jain, head, strategic investments, India Media Exchange, says, "If the reach of the IPL matches had increased as per TAM Media Research, it could be justified because TAM has expanded into newer markets. But when aMap suggests an increase in reach, it may be that more people had switched on their TV sets for the IPL Season 2 inaugural matches because of the curiosity factor, unless a significantly higher number of people have been added in the C&S 15+ category."
Jain further says that because the matches were played on weekends, a lot of people came in and moved out - a normal trend during weekends - and this may have affected the ratings.
However, the industry observer seems to be quite satisfied with the overall performance of these matches.
As Kiran of Starcom says, the tournament will see as many as 59 matches for the next 47 days. A lot can change in times to come and it will be too early and premature to pass any judgement.
Jain of India Media Exchange agrees, saying, "We must not forget that in the first season of the IPL, it was the second league matches which saw a significant jump in ratings."
"What is favourite is going to be redefined in Season 2 of the IPL," says Kiran. A few interesting trends to watch out for this time could relate to the audiences' choice of favourite players, team and captain.
As was the case last year, this time, too, the IPL has seen lot of action happening on and off the screen, which will help it to grow in stature and popularity.
The IPL Season 2 matches in South Africa are being played at 4 pm and 8 pm IST. Many feel that the large number of matches being scheduled in the evening could have an impact on the ratings of the matches. On its part, SET Max, the official broadcaster of Season 2 of IPL, has decided to telecast repeats of the matches the next day at 7 am and10.30 am on Sony.
Repeats are aimed at people who have missed watching the matches the previous night and those who wish to watch the matches a second time.