More than 11 million viewers watched the SET MAX telecast from Johannesburg, South Africa, of the Indian Premier League(IPL) Twenty20 semi-final between Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore.
This is a record for any of the past 117 Twenty20 cricket matches played in the IPL tournaments (2008 and 2009).
The figure is even higher than the 8.7 million viewers who watched the finals of the first edition last year on SET MAX, that had seen Rajasthan Royals winning the inaugural tournament, according to the data provided by overnight ratings agency Audience Measurement and Analytics Ltd(aMap).
The agency took into account the top six cities and the 15-years-above group of cable viewers, that are considered the key demographics for cricket matches by media agencies.
Even the first semi-final match played between Delhi Daredevils and Hyderabad’s Deccan Chargers (winner) saw 10 million television viewers tuning in, about 2.3 million more than the first semi-final match played in the inaugural tournament last year.
Media experts said the second semi-final match might be the most-watched cricket property so far, on the basis of the demographic parameters for cricket matches.
The ratings for television shows across the general entertainment channels are taken for cable homes and 4-years-above age group.
Also, while the second semi-final generated the highest viewership ratings of 6.5 per cent for IPL 2 so far, the first semi-final match had a rating of 5.6 per cent, the second highest in the 58 matched played during the second edition, says the aMap data.
However, the final of IPL 1 generated the highest ever ratings — 8.8 per cent.
According to media agencies, the two semi-final matches of IPL 2 also saw record advertising spot rates of Rs 7.8 to Rs 8 lakh per 10 second spots, almost double of the peak rates of the first edition.
“Vodafone, Airtel Digital and Hyundai Motors remained the top three advertisers for the two semi-finals played this year,” said a senior executive of aMap. The data for top advertisers of IPL 1 has not been compiled by aMap.
Overall, there were 59 scheduled IPL matches in each of the two IPL tournaments held so far. SET MAX expects the second season to generate close to Rs 500 crore in advertising revenue. IPL 1 generated about Rs 400 crore in advertising revenue on SET MAX, that has got the Indian telecast rights for 10 IPL tournaments in total.
After re-negotiations with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), IPL’s organisers — SET MAX and sports marketing firm, World Sport Group — together have to pay Rs 8,200 crore over the next nine years for the telecast rights of IPL.
Experts are hoping to see a record viewership ratings for the final match, too, that was played on Sunday night between Deccan Chargers and Royal Challengers Bangalore, the two teams ranked at the bottom of the table of eight IPL teams that played in the first tournament in 2008. The match was won by Deccan Chargers.
...even as restaurateurs stand disappointed
Till date, the second season of the Indian Premier League (IPL 2) has brought little cheer to restaurateurs, as occupancy throughout the season was much below expectation.
The 2009 tournament, held in South Africa, had begun on April 18 and ended today. The mega event that had gained viewership of close to 82 million on television in the first 20 days of the season — much higher than a 30-60 million viewership for other cricket tournaments — had restaurateurs hoping to have their cash registers ringing, as they ran promotional packages and screened the matches on large LCD screens.
But being one of the worst-impacted sectors on account of the economic slowdown, the restaurants and fine-dining segments did not see a perceptible increase in footfalls, bill size or table occupancies, compared to the last season of IPL.
“Delhi occupancies were lower at 70 per cent for IPL 2, as compared to last year’s edition,” said Debjeet Banerjee, associate director, food and beverage, hotel Park, New Delhi.
Likewise at Hard Rock Cafe, the footfall increase during the season was a meagre 7-8 per cent. On the brighter side, while the increase in footfalls was below the restaurateurs’ expectations, it was higher on days when the home team was playing.
“The increase in footfalls was 15 to 20 per cent,” said Amit Keswani, vice-president, marketing, JSM Holdings, the sole franchises for Hard Rock Cafe in India.
For places like Inorbit mall in Mumbai, which ran promotional offers across the mall on apparels and food court for the first time, “the response was good,” said Paresh Mishra, general manager, Inorbit Mall, Malad.
Mishra believes he benefitted on two accounts. First, the lower advertising rates gave him returns on investment of 175 per cent for every Rs 100 spent compared with last year. Secondly, this being the first time that the mall had promoted IPL, the footfalls increase was 20-25 per cent.
However, New-Delhi based Park, which screened the final at its poolside lounge bar Aqua, expected to have a near full house booking at over 200 plus reservations for the match.
In associated with Sapana Agarwal
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