The Dream11 Indian Premier League 2020, which is drawing to an end today, has seen a blitz of growth in viewership and advertisement revenue. This year’s IPL has seen the highest engagement for any IPL ever on the back of regionalisation with hindi and South feeds.

The data was shared by Disney India, citing television rating agency Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) as the source.

“IPL 2019 had 326 billion minutes consumption (TV only); this year’s IPL has already surpassed that mark with just 50 out of 60 games. Dream11 IPL 2020 has seen an increased engagement and affinity, reflected through the higher number of games watched. Highest engagement for any IPL ever, on the back of regionalisation with hindi and south feeds (Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka),” said Disney India. Presently, we have registered a 26 per cent consumption growth across six weeks – for 50 games, it said. This IPL also marked the most games watched by an average viewer for any 60-game IPL season, it said.

The 13th edition of the Indian Premier League, held in the UAE, also had its TV broadcaster Star Sports hiking its ad rates by 20-25 per cent over last year, amounting to ₹12-12.5 lakh per slot of 10 seconds, said a source.

Gopinath Menon, Business Strategist, Gopinath Menon Consulting, said that during this IPL, another new trend was that there were many first-time advertisers, particularly from spaces such as technology and education. “The key thing is, new advertisers have got converted – first time advertisers. And there were new campaigns breaking.”

“The entire tournament sold at a premium of 12-15 per cent (broadcast and digital). And as expected, with people still living indoors, IPL 2020 has delivered high viewership and reach than all previous editions of the tournament. For the first time, we are seeing huge surge in viewership from overseas as well, turning IPL into a true global event. In 2019, the final match of the IPL garnered a rating of 11 (male, female 15-40 years). This year, the television rating of the final IPL match is estimated to exceed 12-13,” said Nandini Dias, CEO, Lodestar UM.

Star Sports sold out all the ad inventory before the start of the tournament, as did Disney+Hotstar, said Disney India.

Star Sports had 18 sponsors and a total of 110 advertisers on board – by far the highest number of sponsors and advertisers in the history of IPL.

Similarly, Disney + Hostar, had more than 230 advertisers this year, the highest number of advertisers on IPL ever.

Talking about the ad inventory getting sold out, Menon said: “That’s always the case since 2008 onwards. One trend is that the management of IPL will always say that there’s nothing available, everything is almost gone and all, and by the end, all inventory generally gets sold. That’s not a surprise. The good thing about the IPL is that everytime a new set of advertisers are unleashed,” he explained. The ad inventory getting chock-a-blocked is also not surprising, given the seven months of almost new content on TV amid the pandemic and people looking for fresh and exciting content which the IPL offered, he pointed out.

Menon pegged the increase in viewership that this year’s IPL has seen at over 20 per cent, compared to IPL 2019.

“This IPL, the money has gone up, the viewership has gone up, and the brand value in terms of equity has gone up. The only thing that has suffered is they didn’t get any money on the spectator’s a huge revenue that went away. Had that also been in place, it would have been rock and roll for them...It’s a wonderful job done by the marketing team,” Menon concluded.