Regional feeds are raking up big numbers on IPL. Disney Star witnessed 20.4 crore viewers tuning in from Hindi-speaking markets (HSM) for the first 10 matches of the Indian Premier League, up 29.5 per cent (BARC data) in comparison to the previous edition. This was the “highest viewership” clocked in the HSM market in IPL history. Viewership in southern markets was also up 21 per cent for this period compared to the last edition.
Overall, the broadcaster clocked a cumulative reach of 30.7 crore viewers for the first ten matches of the T20 tournament.
Sanjog Gupta, Head-Sports, Disney Star said, “A large part of the growth in viewership is being powered by our regional feeds. We have seen significant growth in various markets, especially with the two new franchises being able to play at their home venues.“
Quoting BARC data, the official TV broadcaster of IPL, said that the HSM regions clocked 4,380 crore minutes as watch time, up 25 per cent. Meanwhile, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana markets garnered 33 per cent consumption growth and Karnataka recorded 30 per cent growth .
The broadcaster has stepped up focus on creating “surround programming”. It has exclusive associations with Rajasthan Royals, Punjab Kings, Lucknow Super Giants, and Kolkata Knight Riders to create new content. “Our data suggest that a viewer who watches at least 30 minutes of our surround programming ends up watching 40 per cent more of the live broadcast,” Gupta said.
Responding to a query on advertisers’ interest, Gupta said, “There have been macroeconomic headwinds not just for the media and entertainment industry in India but around the world. But the clamour for having a presence on IPL supersedes other considerations. There are some sectors where ad spends are not that robust, such as the edtech sector. But we are seeing an uptick in overall ad spends pick up and that is translating in IPL as well. “ He added that in March, the ad spends were much better than January.
“We won’t shy away from saying that, at the beginning, there was some confusion among some advertisers on how they should bifurcate their outlays. But after seeing the robustness of the opening day numbers, those advertisers are now converting and have come back to the table to look at having a presence or expand their presence on IPL,” he added.