The world biggest cricketing league IPL is starting from tomorrow. Like every year, this year also fans were waiting desperately for IPL to start. Indian premier league fan following can be understand by its viewership. IPL is the most watched cricketing league in the world. Especially in India, where cricket is a religion and IPL is a festival to celebrate it. During IPL time no big films are released. Also, IPL viewership is very high as compared to any tv shows on television. So, there is high competition in television channels to acquire IPL broadcasting rights.
The first 10 season of IPL were broadcasted on Sony channels like Sony Max, Sony Six, Sony ESPN. BCCI sold the broadcasting rights to Sony for US$1.026 billion for 10 seasons of Indian premier league. During this time Sony Max became the most watched television channel in India. In September 2017, star india acquired the rights of Indian premier league for 5 years for ₹163.475 billion (US$2.55 billion).
The Star India telecast IPL through its sister channels of star sports. Around 700 million people watched previous season of IPL. Indian premier league is watched on digital platforms also. Hotstar (a child company of star india) stream IPL on their website and app. Around 200 million people watched previous season of IPL on hotstar. TV Impressions for IPL 2018 witnessed a growth of 41% as compared to 2016 season, and grew at 16% over 2017 season.
Clearly, IPL viewership continues to enjoy growth year on year, pointing to the fact that it remains a dynamic and much sought-after property on Television. Star CEO Uday Shankar stated that “ Indian premier league was a very powerful property and that Star would remain very committed to make sure that the growth of sports in this country continues to be driven by the power of cricket”. He went on to say that “whoever puts in that money, they put in that money because they believe in the fans of the sport. The universe of cricket fans, it tells you, continues to very healthy, continues to grow. What was paid in 2008, that was 2008. India and cricket and IPL—all three have changed dramatically in the last 10 years. It is a reflection of that.”
Let’s see how much the viewership of IPL changes this time.