The annual cricketing extravaganza, the India domestic league, may be playing to packed stadiums, but it is unlikely to live up to its promise as a primetime television spectacle.
Viewership ratings for the second week of the tournament are said to be down 17% against the ratings of the last season, the lowest in the last five years, according to media research agency TAM.
However, the tournament's reach has gone up. This year around 140 million people watched the tournament against 117 million last year, according to TAM data.
SET Max is yet to officially announce the viewership figures.
Average TRPs for the first week, which saw five matches being played, dropped to 3.8 from 3.9. Second week numbers reportedly slipped to 3.0 from 3.6.
TV channels and media buyers, however, blame the latest TAM's data collection technique for the decline.
"I am surprised to see the ratings going down," said Rohit Gupta, president, network sales at MSM India, the company that owns SET Max. "We will work with TAM Media, the concerned rating agency."
Media buyers - agents who liaise between teams and potential sponsors - defended the popularity of tournament and blamed TAM's data collection. "The data collection technique is undergoing sea change due to digitisation because of which the ratings were hit," said Navin Khemka, partner, ZenithOptimedia that handles clients including Nestle, Honda, Olx and Karbonn.