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IPL 2022 – Why has the viewership declined?

The Indian Premier League is one of the world’s most popular sporting competitions. The two-month cricket festival brings together some of the top players in the globe, allowing them to showcase their skills. The IPL has continuously rated among the Top 10 most popular sporting events in the world, breaking television viewing records in India. The tournament’s TV viewership had risen dramatically in the previous two seasons, as the covid-19 outbreak drove spectators to stay indoors.

In fact, as compared to the previous season, viewership in 2020 increased by 23%. The IPL 2021 season’s second half also produced amazing results. However, viewership has decreased this season, which may be attributed to a variety of issues.

Two new franchises were added to the 15th edition of the IPL, and fans were anticipated to be more enthusiastic about the event. However, it looks like the new era of the popular T20 tournament is not exactly living up to the hype as much as the organisers expected and here are three reasons why this is the case.

Number 1. T20 burnout for the fans

 

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After a brief hiatus of little over six months, the Indian Premier League has returned. Chennai Super Kings won their fourth IPL title in October of last year, defeating Kolkata Knight Riders in the final. The fact that there has been too much IPL activity recently might be one of the main reasons for the dip in viewership this season.

The competition used to be held in the March-May timeframe before the advent of Covid, but in the previous two years, it has been moved to the latter months of the year. The BCCI agreed to host the 15th season of the IPL during the traditional summer timeframe now that the pandemic situation has stabilised.

The most popular T20 league in the world has a devoted following. However, they may have hit a saturation threshold in terms of watching every single game in live action.

Furthermore, various domestic T20 competitions have been held throughout the world in the recent six months, including the IPL 2021 and the Big Bash League. In January and February of this year, the Pakistan Super League was held, and it was televised on Indian television.

In October-November of last year, fans were treated to a month of nonstop T20 World Cup action. As a result, considering the amount of cricket that has been played recently, one could argue that spectators are currently overdosed with T20 action.

In the previous five months, the Indian national side has played three T20 bilateral series, including home series against New Zealand, the West Indies, and Sri Lanka. One of the key reasons for the decline in TV viewership in the 15th season of the IPL might be an overabundance of T20 activity.

 

Number 2. The mega auction saw many franchise favourite players moving to new franchises

 

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This season saw the largest IPL auction, with virtually every club losing a few significant players. The stars were divided among ten teams this time around, thanks to the Mega Auction a few months ago and the addition of two new franchises. This meant that numerous player fanbases would have to switch their allegiance to another team, which they may not have been ready to do.

For example, David Warner, who wore the Sunrisers Hyderabad jersey for the last ten years, was not re-signed by his team. Instead, the Delhi Capitals scooped up the Australian in the mammoth auction. Hardik Pandya of the Mumbai Indians and Yuzvendra Chahal of the Royal Challengers Bangalore, both of whom found new homes this season, were familiar faces to fans.

With well-known stars switching teams, this might have had a significant influence on IPL fans’ mindsets, who are accustomed to seeing their favourite players playing for the same franchise year after year.

 

Number 3. Absence of some fan-favourite players this season

 

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This season’s IPL 2022 has been without three of its greatest talents. Since its establishment in 2008, players like as Chris Gayle, AB de Villiers, and Suresh Raina have graced the cash-rich competition. And now, for various reasons, none of the three stars are expected to participate in the 15th edition. After the completion of the IPL 2021 season, Mr. 360, AB de Villiers, declared his retirement from all forms of cricket.

On the other side, Chris Gayle, the Universe Boss, has opted to withdraw from the competition, and there is a potential he may never play IPL cricket again. Suresh Raina, Mr. IPL, was not sold during the auction, therefore the former Chennai Super Kings captain is seen in the commentary box.

These three famous celebrities each had a sizable following base, and their absence has had a noticeable impact on ratings this season. Given that there has been a change in leadership at two of the most prestigious IPL clubs – Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore – there is a certain sense of nostalgia that may have impacted the supporters.