The Indian Premier League returned post the global pandemic outbreak in Dubai and did so in some style. The dazzling tournament was organised outside the sub-continent but it didn’t stop the 13th edition of the league from smashing TV viewership records. IPL 2020 registered a whopping 400 billion viewership and became the first sports tournament to achieve the feat.
According to recently released data by Broadcast Audience Research Council India (BARC), Star India, the official broadcasters of the Indian Premier League, claimed that there has been a 23 percent rise in TV viewership for the 13th edition of the league.
The cash-rich league which registered 326 billion viewership last year, this year has registered 400 billion viewing minutes on television, courtesy of coverage in five regional languages — Hindi, Bengali, Telugu, Tamil, and Kannada.
The previous record in terms of highest viewership recorded by a sports tournament was held by last year’s ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup which registered 344 billion viewing minutes.
Confined to their home due to COVID-19 restrictions, IPL 13 has garnered 233.9 billion viewing minutes this year and has been watched by 361 million viewers in the first four weeks of the league.
Although eventuating in Dubai, the opening week of the tournament itself had garnered 269 million viewers and 60.6 billion viewing minutes. In comparison to male viewership, female viewership has grown 33 percent as compared to season 12 of the IPL. In the opening week of the IPL this year, female viewership was recorded at 3.7 billion viewing minutes for the first seven matches.
As quoted by PTI, Sanjog Gupta, Head – Sports, Star India, commented, “Season 13 witnessed innovative programming, world-class production – both remote and on-ground.”
“This wouldn’t have been possible without the fantastic work done by the team at BCCI in staging the tournament under extenuating circumstances and seamless functioning from our teams inside the bio-secure bubbles in India and UAE.”