The Indian Premier League this season has been criticized for lack of viewership especially after the overdose of T20 cricket with the recently concluded Asia Cup and World T20.
But the numbers on show are always on the rise and it is now revealed that the Indian Premier League is the fastest growing global sports league on popular social media site Twitter.
According to the data released by Twitter India, the growth of the T20 league is more than that of UEFA Champions League, National Basketball Association and other leagues around the world in basketball and football.
The following numbers represent the growth of every league over the past three years:
Indian Premier League: 300%
UEFA Champions League (UCL): 239%
National Football League (NFL): 125%
National Basketball Association (NBA): 99%
Major League Baseball (MLB): 75%
The follower count of the IPL handle on the website has seen a growth of viewership from 1 million in 2014 to 4 million in the current season beating all the other leagues mentioned above.
Aneesh Madani, the head of sports partnerships, Twitter, said that the reason for the growth in popularity was the amount of entertainment the competition provides over the space of two months.
“Cricket binds people like no other sport in India, and 9 out of 10 Indian Twitter users are cricket fans. “
Live global TV broadcasts have Twitter icons and information embedded in the experience which directs followers to the platform. No other league has that,” he revealed.
Over the last three years, Twitter has made a number of changes and has introduced many functions on the site that has attracted the consumers.
From Twitter mirror for the entire season including behind the scenes photos and videos to calendar functions and updates through SMS, the website has taken many steps to attract more and more people to the IPL twitter handle.
“The highlight of this year has been in match spirit of cricket video highlights of some important moments. From Suresh Raina catching a blinder of a catch to Dale Steyn keeping tweeting about two free tickets for his fans at his hotel it has been a combination of teams and players making it exciting.,” Madani added.
Continuing the growth on Twitter, Virat Kohli, the star Indian batsman and RCB skipper has also broken through records in recent times.
Kohli, in this year, has grown faster than the most followed NBA player Stephen Curry. He has grown from 400,000 to 1.6 million in the last three years.
The Indian skipper saw a growth of 203% and stands at 10.7 million followers while Curry who has 5.23 million followers has seen a growth of just 160%.
The franchises in the league have also broken records with the Kolkata Knight Riders, the most followed IPL franchise breaking loads of records.
Moving from 3 million to 10.7 million, the growth in followers for the Kolkata Knight Riders is at a staggering 300% and has beaten the most followed English Premier League outfit Manchester United.
United has seen a growth of just 204% in the last 3 years on Twitter leaving KKR as the most followed sporting club in the world.
It was also revealed that the IPL Twitter timeline has seen an 18 times growth in the number of IPL videos published on its handle.
This should more or less clear the debate about the current season of the IPL not being a hit with the fans.