Record high viewership for IPL playoffs in 2023, 44% higher YoY

The playoffs of the 2023 edition of the Indian Premier League raked in record-high viewership numbers with Disney Star seeing a 44 per cent increase in ratings compared to the previous year and surpassing the previous record set in 2020.

Until the finals, the live broadcast of the IPL 2023 on television saw 49.6 crore viewers and 40,902 crore minutes of consumption, the company said quoting BARC data.

Disney Star, the official TV broadcaster, said the second qualifier between the Gujarat Titans and Mumbai Indians saw a peak TV concurrency of 6.1 crore, thereby becoming the highest rated playoffs match in the history of the tournament.

Peak concurrency is the highest number of end users who are simultaneously logged in to the services at any given moment and unique viewers are the total number of viewers who came to watch videos.

Digital streaming of the riveting tournament, via Jio Cinema, saw more than 120 million unique viewers for the final game between Chennai Super Kings and Gujarat Titans, with a peak concurrency of 32.1 million.

The close clash, held in the 1,30,000-person capacity Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, saw popular veteran Mahendra Singh Dhoni lead the Chennai Super Kings to a fifth league title.Viewership was likely boosted by speculation the final would be 41-year-old Dhoni’s last professional appearance, though the former Indian captain signaled he’s likely to return to next year’s tournament.”It has been a phenomenal success, and largely because of the sheer competitiveness of this year’s tournament,” IPL chairman Arun Singh Dhumal told Reuters on Thursday.

“Most of the matches went down to the wire and there were plenty of last-over thrillers. We got a phenomenal response from the fans. Our viewership grew manifold and our broadcast and digital partners both are excited.

The 2023 season of IPL viewership had a competition between TV and digital with the cricket board BCCI selling the broadcast rights for the 2023-27 cycle of the IPL for a whopping Rs 48,390 crore.

Disney Star had bagged the television rights for the Indian subcontinent for Rs 23,575 crore and Reliance-backed Viacom18 got digital rights for Rs 20,500 crore.

Star managed to further its penetration due to the broadcasting of the tournament. While Star Sports was present in eight out of 10 paid TV homes before the IPL, the broadcaster added 11 million more paid subscribers in the first 25 days of IPL and is now present in nine out of 10 paid TV homes in India, Gurjeev Singh Kapoor, Head – Distribution and International – Disney Star, told ET Online.

The IPL has revolutionized cricket since its inception in 2008, bringing Bollywood glamor and American sporting glitz to the stereotypically genteel sport.

While the shift away from tradition has put off some fans, others have been enticed by the shorter and brasher format that typically sees a match only last around four hours. Alphabet Inc. Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai is one of them, tweeting his congratulations and commiserations.

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