IPL Season 2: League match ratings fail to pick up

By Sangeeta Tanwar , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | April 24, 2009
League matches deliver better ratings in CAS and DTH households, following a pattern similar to the first few matches of IPL Season 2

Media experts were of the view that as the IPL Season 2 progresses, the league matches will contribute to higher ratings. With the second set of TAM data out for the four matches played by the IPL teams on April 19-21, the ratings have failed to live up to the expectations and optimism expressed by the industry.

As per TAM Media Research, the first match played on April 19 (Sunday) between Kings XI Punjab and Delhi Daredevils garnered a TVR of 5.08 (C&S 4+, six metros). The second match between Kolkata Knight Riders and Deccan Chargers Hyderabad ended up with a TVR of 5.34 (C&S 4+, six metros).

The first match played on Sunday (Kings XI Punjab vs Delhi Daredevils) was watched by 9.16 million viewers and the second match on the same day (Kolkata Knight Riders vs Deccan Chargers Hyderabad) commanded a viewership of 10.99 million (C&S 4+, six metros).

Commenting on the performance of the league matches, Tarun Nigam, executive director, India-North and Pakistan, Starcom Worldwide, says, "Given the hype and backup that IPL enjoys, at present it is one of the best properties to invest in. Let's not put unrealistic benchmarks to the performance of the IPL Season 2 because the first season of any new property or reality show does exceptionally well on account of innovativeness of content and format. Subsequent seasons, in most of the cases, are not lapped up with the same enthusiasm as the first one."

Nigam is of the view that with 5 plus ratings, as an event IPL Season 2 is still delivering. Above all, we all should feel happy realising that with all the roadblocks leading up to the second edition, IPL Season 2 is alive and kicking.

Both the matches on Sunday recorded higher TVRs in CAS and DTH households. The first and second matches of the day saw TVRs of 6.25 and 6.46 respectively (Digital 4+, six metros). Though the TVRs for the matches were higher, the reach for both the matches were comparatively lower than C&S households. The first match was watched by 1.15 million viewers, whereas the second match was watched by 1.24 million viewers.

Industry observers feel that one must not read much into the higher TVRs delivered in CAS and DTH homes. Higher ratings could be simply because of better quality of telecast, which may have led to viewers being glued on for some more time.

The match played on April 20 (Monday) between Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore fared better, with a TVR of 6.02 (C&S 4+, six metros). The match was watched by 13.44 million viewers. With a TVR of 7.86 (Digital 4+, six metros), the game reached out to 1.49 million viewers.

For some, a 5 plus rating in the league matches is far from encouraging. "Unlike the first season of the IPL, the league matches in IPL Season 2 have failed to provide momentum to the event. This year, the franchisee support, relentless rooting and affinity for individual teams is completely missing. Weather has proved to be another spoilsport, with the rain gods further affecting the stakeholders' calculations. All this will act as a barrier to ratings moving beyond 5 plus," says Amin Lakhani, head, Exchange Mindshare, India.

Another league match played on April 21 (Tuesday) between Kings XI Punjab and Kolkata Knight Riders failed to make an impact as the match recorded the lowest TVR (so far) in IPL Season 2. The match garnered a TVR of 3.64 (C&S 4+, six metros) and was watched by 7.94 million people.

Reaching out to 1.17 million people, the match managed a TVR of 4.34 (Digital 4+, six metros).

The second match for the same day, scheduled between Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals, was abandoned due to rains.

According to Lakhani, the only hope lies in the possibility of close matches with tight finishes being played out in the subsequent matches of IPL Season 2, as this would heighten and sustain the viewers' interest in the game, fuelling the ratings.

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