26 Sep

The opening match of the 2020 Indian Premier League (IPL) season saw a record 200 million viewers tune in on television and digital platforms.

The franchise Twenty20 cricket competition, which is being held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), began on 19th September with the Chennai Super Kings defeating defending champions the Mumbai Indians by five wickets.

The viewership numbers were initially revealed by Board of Control for Cricket (BBCI) secretary Jay Shah, who cited figures from television monitoring agency Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) on Twitter. The audience was later confirmed by the IPL as the highest in the competition’s history.

Star India is the IPL’s current global broadcast partner, paying I₹16,347.50 crore (US$2.08 billion), until the end of the 2022 competition.

The Disney-owned media company has sold on the rights in certain territories where the tournament is popular, such as Australia and the UK.

Pay-TV network Fox is the IPL’s linear broadcaster in Australia, whilst the YuppTV over-the-top (OTT) service also has digital streaming rights. YuppTV’s deal also covers continental Europe, Malaysia, Southeast Asia with the exception of Singapore, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, the Maldives, Central Asia, and Central and South America.

In the UK, pay-TV broadcaster Sky Sports has a three-year deal with the competition, signed in February this year.

The IPL final is due to be held on 10th November.

John Stephenson


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