MUMBAI: Close games, high quality cricket, packed stadia, record TV ratings and revenues in excess of Rs 1,000 crore for the official broadcaster have made the eighth India Premier League season the most lucrative so far.
"The ratings clearly show that the IPL is getting bigger with each passing season," IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla told India Today. "It was one of the most interesting IPLs with a lot of quality cricket."
"We have been highly successful as the ratings show that even the women viewership has increased this time round," he added.
Figures from rival measurement agencies TAM and BARC backed up his claims. Before the final stages began, TAM data indicated that viewers spent just over 45 minutes per match this year, a 9% increase on IPL 7. And BARC data showed that more people were watching cricket than soap operas for the first time since IPL 2.
Broadcasting advertising revenues have yet to be released but a senior executive at MSM, parent of official broadcaster Sony, told IndianTelevision.com that it would achieve around Rs 1000 crore.
A leading media expert thought that figure was likely to be an underestimate and suggested Rs 1,200 crore would be nearer the mark.
"This is the best IPL Sony has ever had since inception," he said. "They had Rs 1000 crore before the first ball was bowled – more brands associated with them and hence the inventory was packed."
In fact, TAM data suggest that, overall, slightly fewer brands advertised this year across commercial, onscreen, and in-stadia – 214 against 218 in 2014 – but the number of onscreen advertisers rose from 31 to 34 and commercial ad volumes grew 4%.
Fans took to social media, especially Facebook and Twitter, in huge numbers to discuss events on the field. Between April 1 and May 24, Facebook recorded 29m global users having 312m interactions, while Twitter registered more than 350m live impressions between April 8 and May 25.
Data sourced from IndianTelevision.com, Live Mint, Television Post, India Today; additional content by Warc staff