Seven days into the season, Indian Premiere League 5 has been declared a thanda affair in terms of television viewing. As per Television Audience Measurement (TAM) ratings, the opening ceremony gathered a poor score of 1.3 while the first six matches got an average of 3.76 — the lowest in five years of the tournament. This, even as stadiums are packed during matches.
Apart from the TRPs, even mobile downloads of IPL apps and merchandise sales have hit an unprecedented low, and cheerleaders are facing flak for their dramatic costumes instead of drawing the crowds. So much so that Bollywood filmmakers and television channels that were otherwise scared of releasing their films and shows during the tournament are unperturbed this time.
Vamshi K Reddy of Apalya Technologies, the exclusive partner for mobile streaming of IPL matches, says, “Active engagement is yet to begin.” A shop owner selling official IPL merchandise says on condition of anonymity, “The sale during IPL 1 was superb but then it started dropping with every season. This year has been the worst so far.”
TV show makers are smiling away to success. “This year, we are launching two shows during IPL, as two things emerge clearly — one, that regular entertainment shows are growing in terms of audience numbers despite IPL. And two, the return on investment, as a result, on the IPL is much lower than on the entertainment shows for advertisers,” says Akash Chawla, marketing head of Zee TV. IPL’s chairperson Rajeev Shukla, however, defends: “The opening ceremony was a new thing and therefore not many were aware of it. The first match got a TRP of 5.5. So the craze is still the same, and it always grows towards the second half of the tournament.”
... And the slapstick scores
Housefull 2 has earned Rs. 45cr in just a week’s run parallel to the IPL. Director Sajid Khan says, “I single-handedly took this decision of releasing it on the day IPL took off because I felt it could not encroach into my film’s space.” The makers of Jannat 2, releasing May 5, are equally sure of their film’s success.
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