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IPL4 ratings drop 25% in six metros

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MUMBAI: The ratings for the Indian Premier League (IPL) 4 continue to drop, indicating the impact the World Cup could have had on the cricketing property that had created revolutionary waves in the earlier editions.

The first 37 matches have notched an average TVR of 4.07, still respectably high, but way off the 5.44 TVR that the third edition had reaped last year during the same period. A drop of 25 per cent in ratings has made some advertisers anxious.

In the first year, the average TVR was 5.39 for the same number of matches. Even when the event shifted to South Africa in 2009, the performance was better than this time as it scored a TVR of 4.58.

The highest rating for this time is still the first match which got a TVR of 7.77, according to TAM Sports data for six metros (C&S4+).

Two matches featuring the Mumbai Indians got a TVR of 6.7. Last year 13 matches crossed a TVR of six compared to just three this time around. The match between Kings XI Punjab and Kolkata Knight Riders played on Saturday (30 April) got a TVR of 3.91. On the same day, the earlier match at 4 pm between Delhi Daredevils and Kochi Tuskers Kerala got a TVR of 2.36.

MSM president network sales, licensing and telephony Rohit Gupta notes that the reach is at 146.5 million, which is more than what was achieved for the whole event last year at 143 million All India. "Our inventory is completely sold except for the last four matches, which we will sell at a premium."

A media buyer notes that the IPL will turn out to be a more expensive proposition for advertisers if its average stays at 4 TVR for the entire event. "Having said that, it has always been seen that the middle period is when ratings fall. Viewership for the last four matches will be high as has been the case in the past and I think that the event will make up lost ground. You cannot call the IPL a failure as it is still giving a rating of 4 over such a long period. This is what the World Cup delivered due to India winning the trophy."

Gupta is quick to defend. "I have not heard any complaints from clients about the IPL?s response, which means that things are healthy. This year we also brought in smaller clients to support this property. Having said that, there is a viewer fatigue factor at play with the IPL starting just after the World Cup got over. Sony will still get a premium for the remaining inventory it has for the semifinals and final," Gupta said.

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