Is Indian audience losing interest in Indian Premier League? Yes. If the television audience ratings agency Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) data is to be believed. In a week that has witnessed intensified heat and intrigue around teams’ qualification to the knock stage, most watched sports genre channel Star Sports 1 Hindi has lost around 15% impressions over the previous week.
The decline in IPL audience on Indian television is also evident as gross impressions for the most-watched sports genre shows, which are live broadcast of the IPL matches, has crashed for Week 18 (April 27-May 3) for the respective positions in the top five BARC ratings chart. Although, it is yet again an absolute IPL and Star Sports 1 Hindi domination in the top 5 positions for the most-watched sports genre shows.
The Kolkata Knight Riders versus Mumbai Indians match on April 20 in Kolkata has registered 1,56,30,000 impressions as the No. 1 sports genre show for the week. The gross impressions are over 10,00,000 less than the No. 1 show for the previous week. The trend is evident across the top five list.
For the second successive week Star Sports 1 Hindi, leading the BARC charts on strength of the IPL live broadcast, has recorded a fall in the gross impressions. Also for the second successive week the Channel has lost its position in the cross-genre top 10 channels chart. Star Sports 1 Hindi has crashed to the 3rd position with Sun TV taking the No.1 spot, relegating last week’s leader Dangal to the second spot.
Even as there is no change in the position of the top five sports genre channels, the sports audience has recorded an overall dip during the week. The fall is also attributed to the election fever in the country as Prime Time news shows draw audience away from any other genre.
Star Sports 1 Hindi and the channels banking on the IPL strength may lose more eyeballs over the next few weeks as there are no match days between the qualifier and eliminator round games. The BCCI has roped in a mini, three-match women’s league during the knockout phase of the IPL but that still lacks the potential to draw big audience to television or the ground.