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IPL 2018 gets record opening of 371 mn viewers; but reach declines 4%

Vivo IPL 2018 got off to a rousing start on April 7 and now begins the viewership number crunching. Star India has claimed a historic opening for the 11th edition of IPL with 371 million viewers recorded on television and Hotstar. The television viewership stood at 288.4 million viewers (BARC 2+ U+R) and a platform reach of 82.4 million viewers on Hotstar – the highest ever inaugural week viewership recorded for IPL since its launch. 

Television reach for the opening week stood at 288.4 million viewers, driven by 30 per cent increase in reach in South. The audience demographic of Males 15+ AB, Urban registered 273 million impressions with a 23 per cent growth versus year ago. The growth recorded was not limited to the core cricket fan with total Urban gross impressions at 854 million, a 17 per cent growth versus last year. Forty per cent of the viewers were women, which is a testimony to the universal appeal of IPL. 

Meanwhile, Hotstar registered a viewership of 82.4 million viewers on the platform with a 76 per cent growth over last year. Hotstar recorded a 5.5 million concurrency during the CSK vs KKR game on April 10, 2018, a record it has since then beaten with a peak concurrency of 6.0 million achieved during the MI vs RCB game on April 17, 2018. 

Commenting on the response to the opening week of Vivo IPL 2018, Sanjay Gupta, MD, Star India, said, “We sought to re-imagine the way IPL was presented to fans and are delighted with how fans have responded across both TV and Hotstar, helping us set new viewership and conversation benchmarks. The consumption growth is a truly satisfying yardstick of unmatched fan delight and value for brands. Even though it is early days, this has already become the most watched IPL ever on a tournament to date basis, and we hope to continue to engage fans powered by localisation and technology across TV and Hotstar.” 

Some key data:

  • Continuing the surge of the opening day TV viewership growth of 37 per cent, the opening week saw a 23 per cent growth versus a year ago (Source: BARC Male 15 + AB Urban audience registers 387 million gross impressions in the opening week at 23 per cent growth versus year ago.)
  • Reach of 371 million viewers recorded on Television and Hotstar in Week 1 (Television viewership as per BARC 2+ U+R, Week 15 data & Hotstar platform viewership from April 7 to 13, compared versus 2017 data.)
  • Multi-lingual coverage has proved to be a massive success with growth in the South at 34 per cent versus year ago (Source BARC Male 15+ AB Urban.)

As is known, the Star India Network is offering fans a multi-lingual viewing experience in 6 languages – Hindi, English, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, and Bengali. The tournament is being broadcast on 10 TV channels and live streamed on Hotstar. 

IPL 2018 data contested 

Meanwhile, Rajesh Kaul, President, Distribution and Sports Business, Sony Pictures Networks, India, noted, “The IPL 2018 live TV reach All India CS2+ declined by approximately 10 million viewers, while the decline in reach across HSM markets stands at 20 per cent, which translates to a loss of approximately 35 million viewers. This is disappointing.” 

CS2+ reach achieved by IPL 2018 on Star stands at 245.7 million compared to 254.8 million achieved by Sony last year, which is 4 per cent lower than 2017, it was pointed out. Overall ratings, too, have declined from 4.33 to 4.18, as per reports.

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