No doubt, this time, the Indian Premiere League (IPL 5) evidently sashayed away with the controversy crown. And yet, the predicament that the controversy talks could further mar the cash-rich tourney's finale viewership seems to have worked otherwise.
According to TAM Sports (C&S 4+, All India), the final match that took place between the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) on May 27, scored a TVR of 8.92.
Yes, the tourney may not have stirred the cricket-hungry nation's zest with the same vigour as it had done during its first three seasons, but when compared to the fourth, the game finale has surely fared well. Consider this: the final match that took place between the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Royal Challenge Bangalore (RCB) on May 28, 2011 scored a TVR of 6.44.
Navin Khemka, managing partner, ZenithOptimedia, meanwhile, notes that the finale viewership of IPL 5 was chiefly driven by Kolkata.
"The quality of the match was good and there was also a lot of star power presence on the field, which helped drive up the final ratings," he says.
Not to forget, when compared to the first three seasons, the final match score of IPL 5 is still at a low. Consider this -- in its debut season (2008), the tourney's final match between CSK and Rajasthan Royals (RR) had scored 9.81 TVR, while during its second edition, the final match between Deccan Chargers Hyderabad (DC) and RCB garnered a TVR of 9.29. Meanwhile, it was the third season finals (CSK versus Mumbai Indians) that took the cake with the highest TVR of 10.48, as compared to the other editions.
But despite the fluctuations, media experts are of the view that IPL has still not lost its sheen.
A top media executive who does not wish to be named says, "With this season, the IPL viewership has finally stabilised. There will not be any doubts about IPL anymore and clients will be quite clear on what kind of ROIs are to be expected."
The overall rating of IPL 5 is low as compared to the earlier editions. The fifth season of the tourney has averaged at 3.45 TVR. In 2011, it had scored 3.51 TVR, while in 2010 and 2009, the average stood at 4.65 TVR and 4.17 TVR, respectively. In its first season, the tournament rated 4.81 TVR.
However, in terms of reach, IPL 5 has earned the highest numbers as compared to IPL 1, 2, 3 and 4. According to TAM Sports, DLF IPL 2012 has garnered a consolidated reach of 1,62,934,000 viewers.
During Season 1, IPL had reached out to 1,02,414,000 viewers while in Season 2, it was 1,22,746,000. In Season 3, the tourney's viewership reach was 1,43,692,000, while in Season 4 it was 1,62,276,000.