The ever-increasing popularity of the Indian Premier League has reached new heights with Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN), on Thursday (May 5), announcing that it has crossed the last year’s viewership after just 32 matches.
With the ongoing season starting after a busy home season that saw India playing as many as 13 Tests in addition to eight One-Day Internationals and 3 T20Is, there were suggestions that the popularity of the tournament might take a hit. Moreover, the absence of some big names like Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers in the initial matches only elevated the premonitions. However, the broadcasters have announced that this year’s viewership has not been affected. In fact, it has exceeded all the expectations with 363.9 million viewers so far compared to 314 millions viewers at the same stage last year.
In 2016, the IPL had recorded 361 million viewers for the entire 2016 tournament across five channels— Sony Max, Sony Six, Sony Six HD, Sony ESPN and Sony ESPN HD.
“VIVO IPL 2017 continues to grow and has achieved a cumulative reach of 363.9 million in the fourth week of the tournament as compared to last year’s reach of 314 million after 32 matches,” SPN said in a statement.
The broadcasting company announced that Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh/Telangana, Gujarat, Karnataka and West Bengal have been the top performing markets so far while Mumbai and Delhi have taken the top spot among metros. The tournament enjoys higher engagement with 64 minutes average time spent per viewer vis-a-vis 53 minutes last year for 32 matches, SPN added.