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IPL 2018: Viewership strikes gold in the first week of the season

The numbers are absolutely staggering.

IPL opening ceremony
IPL opening ceremony. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The 2018 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is proving to be a bigger and a better edition than the previous ones. The ongoing edition of the tournament is just one week old and has still managed to produce some excellent brand of cricket. There have been last ball and last over thrillers already. The bowlers have managed to scalp three wickets in an over, wickets have fallen on the very first ball of the matches, and there have been sixes hit at will, and now a century scored as well.

Certainly, the IPL 2018 is not short on any entertainment quotient. Amidst this backdrop, it is only an obvious statement that the fans are thrilled to bits this season. These are not just words but validated facts. As per the recent reports in LiveMint, the first week of the Indian Premier League has already hit a jackpot in terms of viewership.

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The reports suggest that the tournament has had a very strong opening in the season with 213.9 million impressions across urban and rural markets for the first week, a significant up 8.1% from last year. In this, the further sub divisions show that 125.1 million impressions came from the urban market, 88.8 million were from rural areas.

This data was released by the Broadcast Audience Research Council (Barc) India. Also, this included the viewers over the age of two years who watched the matches across the 10 television portals of the Star India, the official broadcast partners of the tournament.

Star India makes big gains

Star India has put in a lot of efforts to spread the game to all corners this season with broadcast being in four regional languages as well – Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Bengali. On the personal front, they have registered a 23% growth over last year to reach 273 million impressions. Star India also revealed that a cumulative of 82.4 million viewers logged on to its digital platform Hotstar to watch the matches in the first week, registering 76% growth over last year.

“The viewership growth is commendable and I expect 20% ad revenue growth in this IPL season. However, it would be interesting to see if Star can sustain this growth in the next four years, given it has paid a huge amount of money to BCCI,” said independent media-buying consultant Harsha Joshi.

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