IPL Viewership Game: Did Bihar polls stump the finals?

Nandana James | Updated on November 13, 2020

The final match was lacklustre   -  PTI

Even as broadcasters and webcasters were tom-tomming the unprecedented viewership of Indian Premier League 2020, early estimates suggest that Tuesday’s final match between Mumbai Indians and Delhi Capitals may not have lived up to the record-breaking expectations.

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The see-saw battle for supremacy in Bihar may have played spoilsport, distracting viewers. “Timing is of utmost importance. When two big fixtures clash, one of them is going to suffer in terms of viewership for sure,” said Harish Bijoor, brand guru and founder, Harish Bijoor Consults.

The Bihar poll results were a cliff-hanger and may have caused many to give the IPL finals a miss, affirmed Lloyd Mathias, business strategist and angel investor. Giraj Sharma, founder director of Behind the Moon, a brand consultancy, felt that the final match taking place on a Tuesday — rather than on a weekend — with most people being on their way back from work, could have been another factor which impacted viewership.

No competition

“Another contributory factor was the fact that Mumbai Indians and Delhi Capitals had met twice in the league phase and again in the playoffs just five days prior to the finals. So this in effect was the fourth encounter between the two sides, with Mumbai Indians winning the previous three,” said Mathias. Moreover, as he pointed out, the match itself was a tame affair with Mumbai Indians winning rather easily.

Gopinath Menon, business strategist, Gopinath Menon Consulting, however, sounded a contrarian note. He said that news could never compete against mass programmes like entertainment or cricket. “The maximum average peak rating for any top news programme is 0.3, while for IPL it is close to 11,” he said. He said election coverage seldom has stickiness as people see results and move on while IPL has loyal viewers who tend to be glued on for long.

Both Disney India and Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) said that actual data on the viewership numbers of the final were not available yet. So we will have to wait and see the final day’s viewership outcome.

Meanwhile, Disney India said on Monday — citing BARC as the source — that this year’s IPL already surpassed last year’s 326 billion minutes’ consumption (TV only) with just 50 out of 60 games.

Published on November 12, 2020

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