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IPL 2010 to witness 14 per cent rise in viewership over last time: MEC study

By Sapna Nair , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Media Publishing | March 08, 2010
The estimated average TVR for the third season of IPL is 5.2

The third season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) continues to be the talk of the town, with just four days left for the inaugural match. mediaedge:cia (MEC) is out with its predictions about the viewership of the cricketainment property this season.

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For the last season, the media agency had predicted that the tournament would witness a 7 per cent dip in viewership vis--vis Season 1, owing to the change of venue and the General Elections in India. That prediction did come true, as the dip in viewership was apparent. This time round, the agency predicts that though the TVRs would rise, they would not reach the levels of the first season.

With a 14 per cent rise in viewership, IPL 3 is expected to rake in average TVR of 5.2 (C&S, 15+, SEC ABC), according to the study conducted by MEC across 10 cities, with a sample size of 903 individuals. For the second season, the agency had predicted a 7 per cent dip in viewership compared to the first season.

The agency has based its study on factors such as fatigue (since this is the third season of the game), India being the venue, team popularity, player popularity and scheduling of matches. The sample interviewed suggests that India's love for cricket is fervent and consistent.

Among the respondents, 60 per cent said that they loved the T20 format and yearned for more; 26 per cent thought that there has been overkill; and 15 per cent were still in favour of the ODI format.

Of those interviewed, 54 per cent expressed the desire to watch more matches than in the last season; while 27 per cent said there would be no change in their viewing habits. For those who wanted to watch more matches, the major reason was that the tournament was back in India; while the ones who would watch fewer matches believed there had been too much cricket lately.

According to the study, the viewing habits of T20 enthusiasts are influenced mainly by whether their favourite team was playing, followed by whether the home team was playing. Interestingly, team performance has very little influence. Statistics say that the favourite teams (which enjoy the most support), such as Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders, haven't even made it to the semi-finals so far.

While teams enjoy high popularity in their respective regions, some, such as Delhi Daredevils and Rajasthan Royals, need to strengthen their popularity in Delhi and Jaipur, respectively.

With only five off-primetime matches on weekdays, SET Max and viewers have reasons to rejoice. Unlike season two, which had a majority of weekday matches; most of the matches in the third season are scheduled on weekends, similar to that of the first season. MEC predicts a 5-15 per cent dip in GECs' share, due to the matches.

It has been observed that the number of viewers tuning into the matches was higher (around 21 million new viewers) in the second season compared to first; but the time spent had decreased. This trend is expected to continue.

Respondents could remember DLF and Vodafone as the top two brands associated with IPL, followed by Hero Honda and Kingfisher. IPL, this time, will be screened on newer platforms such as cinema halls and video sharing portal, YouTube. However, only 38 per cent of those interviewed were aware of it. Moreover, most of the viewers preferred watching the matches at home, with family and friends.