The recent broadcast ratings may well leave the stake holders in the Indian Super League a worried lot. Pro Kabaddi League is sweeping the audience rating charts in a week that featured insignificant cricket. Indian Super League for the second successive week is raided out of the Broadcast Audience Research Council ratings Top 5 charts, absolutely ruled by the Pro Kabaddi live broadcast on Star Sports First and Star Sports 1.
Even in a week when cricket offered little competition in terms of eyeballs – the second India West Indies Test at Hyderabad too being a poor performer on television – Indian Super League has failed to make an impact. Just like empty or half-filled stadiums at most of the venues, the ISL broadcast ratings too leave a lot to be desired.
While clubs like Bengaluru FC have done well businesswise, ISL overall is struggling to generate the audience – in stadia and on air – to justify the high billing associated with the league. Venues like Kolkata are some positive exceptions and a good influence on the league. Week 42 (October 13-19) BARC television ratings have also accounted for the Delhi Dynamos 1-2 loss to the ATK, Chennaiyin FC’s 3-4 defeat against North East United and Mumbai City’s 2-0 drubbing of Pune City. None of the three games have TV audience worth a place in the top 5 sports genre shows for the week.
The top kabaddi games, being simulcast on Star Sports First and Star Sports 1 Hindi, have been on the Top 5 list for each of the two platforms. The Telugu Titans-Patna Pirates game has been the No. 1 show for the week on Star Sports First and in the No. 3 position on Star Sports 1 Hindi. Similarly, Telugu Titans versus UP Yodha tie in Sonepat is in the No. 4 and No. 5 positions on the Star Sports First and Star Sports 1 Hindi respectively.
Kabaddi live broadcast, supported by the audience for India’s win over West Indies in the second Test at Hyderabad, has also powered Star Sports 1 Hindi atop the most-watched channels’ list. Star Sports First comes next.
Sony Ten is in the No. 3 position, thanks to the WWE dedicated audience.
Amidst the good news of the Indian Super League considering to add two more teams – East Bengal and Mohun Bagan – to the professional football folder next year and Odisha Government pledging a ₹ 5 crore sponsorship to promote the sport at junior level, ISL in audience attraction is lagging behind to flourish as the pro soccer league in the country.
The prospects for the next week do not seem good either. At a time when each of the 10 ISL teams will be on the field at least once during the week with games scheduled for every day, on TV ratings charts the league will have to deal with the magic of Virat Kohli’s willow in the first and second one-day internationals against West Indies on October 21 and 24 respectively.