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This year’s Dream 11 Indian Premier League has seen record viewership, with the total advertising volume for the opening week 15 per cent higher than 2019 opening week, according to a BARC-Nielsen report released on Thursday.

A total of 269 million viewers watched IPL in its opening week. This is 11 million more viewers per match compared to 2019. Viewing minutes has also gone up to 60.6 billion minutes across seven matches and 21 channels, which is a 15 per cent increase in viewing minutes compared to the IPL in 2019, despite one less match and fewer channels.

Both advertiser and brand counts also increased as compared to the earlier season, said BARC. The advertising count increased by 19 per cent during IPL 2020, compared to last year’s IPL, whereas the brand count increased by 22 per cent.

The report also said that significant gains in audience base was seen for related sports apps, fantasy sports apps.

Shailesh Kapoor, founder and CEO, Ormax Media, a media consulting firm, said: “Given that there has been no cricket featuring Indian cricketers for the last 7-8 months, fans in India have been starved of their favourite sporting action for very long. Additionally, with outdoor entertainment still restricted, TV viewing time has anyway been higher than usual for the last few months. Hence, the excellent performance of IPL comes as no surprise. With matches being very close, we can expect the ratings to sustain at these high levels.”

Lloyd Mathias, Business Strategist and former Asia marketing head of HP Inc, said: “IPL is like India’s default entertainment option at this point of time. I am not at all surprised at this big spurt in IPL viewership.”

“We are thrilled to deliver the biggest ever IPL. The opening week for Dream11 IPL 2020 resulted in a staggering new viewership record with an increase of 30 per cent over last year across the Star India network,” said Gautam Thakar, CEO, Star Sports.

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