The first week's TAM viewership data show the Pepsi Indian Premier League (IPL) has passed the acid test. The data show that the first five matches were watched by a 100 million viewers on MAX and SIX cumulatively. "The ratings are looking very good primarily because of the quality of the matches. They were very competitive and none of the five matches was one-sided. This increases the interest levels of the viewers," said Navin Khemka, managing partner of media agency ZenithOptimedia India. In its previous edition in 2012, the reach of IPL on MAX was 79 million viewers, even if there were six matches compared to five in the current year. (COVER DRIVE... TO THE TV ROOM) And the impact of IPL is also visible on other genres, which have lost share. For instance, the Hindi general entertainment channels (GEC) genre has lost almost 100 GRPs (gross rating points) in this week. "Again, the quality of matches resulted in higher gains for MAX and thus higher loss of GECs.
Last year, while the GEC genre was hit by just 50 GRPs in first week, this time the loss is 100 GRPs," Khemka added. Meanwhile, the reach has increased phenomenally but the ratings of the matches have seen a slight decline compared to the last season. While the first match between Delhi Daredevils and Kolkata Knight Riders clocked a 4.1 TVR (TV rating points) in the All India Market in the 4+ years age group of the cable and satellite universe, the same for the Hindi Speaking Markets (HSM) was at 4.5 TVR. In the last year edition, the first match was between Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings, which fetched a TVR of 5.5 in All India and 5.9 in HSM respectively. Similarly, the average of first week matches this season (five matches) is 3.8 TVR (All India) and 4 TVR (HSM) compared to the first week average of last season (six matches) of 3.9 TVR and 4.1 TVR in All India and HSM markets respectively. Neeraj Vyas, EVP and Business Head, MAX said that the ratings are good, especially because the viewership universe has changed compared to last year. TAM, the TV ratings monitoring agency, has recently added LC1 towns to its monitoring system, which constitutes to approximately 24 per cent of the total TV viewing universe. "I think given that so many changes have happened in TAM reporting, compared to last year, and that IPL started just in the second phase of DAS (digital addressable systems) implementation, the ratings are extremely good. What is most heartening to see is that our reach has gone up to 100 million viewers," Vyas said. When asked on the advertisers response, Khemka, who has many clients advertising on the property said, "I have many advertisers putting money on IPL and they all are happy with the first week ratings." Beginning on April 2, the sixth edition of IPL will continue till May 26. For the first time, Multi Screen Media (MSM), the official broadcaster has roped in 11 sponsors for the tourney and claims that it has increased the rates for the remaining inventory.