The uncertainty around the 2020 edition of the Indian Premier League was massive given the fact that it was on the verge of being cancelled at one point of time with the pandemic outbreak.
The BCCI eventually decided to shift the tournament to the UAE and the tournament is finally underway. The IPL 2020 started off with a bang, as the Chennai Super Kings defeated the Mumbai Indians in a cracker of a season opener on Saturday. Apart from the opening match between Chennai and Mumbai being a great game of cricket, it has also turned out to be a historic match, as it created history with its viewership numbers.
As the two of the most popular teams in the tournament went out to face-off each other in the season opener, fans couldn’t have asked for a better start to the tournament, and the match went on to set new records in terms of viewership. Viewers watched the live telecast of the match in the Star Sports Network, the official broadcaster of IPL and OTT platform Disney + Hotstar. With a record 20 crore viewers tuned in to watch the match on television and OTT platforms, it gained the highest ever opening day viewership for any sporting league in the world.
BCCI secretary, Jay Shah, on Tuesday, took to Twitter to confirm the same. Quoting the television monitoring agency BARC(Broadcast Audience Research Council), Shah tweeted, “As per BARC, an unprecedented 20 crore people tuned in to watch the match. Highest ever opening day viewership for any sporting league in any country. No league has ever opened as big as this,”.
The Indian Premier League also took to Twitter and thanked its viewers for the overwhelming support to help kickstart the tournament. “Thank you, India.It’s been a dream start to #Dream11IPL. We’ve recorded highest ever TV & DIGITAL viewership in IPL history. 200 million viewership – #MIvCSK @ChennaiIPL DelhiCapitals @lionsdenkxip @KKRiders @mipaltan @rajasthanroyals @RCBTweets @SunRisers.”, the official Twitter handle of the Indian Premier League tweeted.
Earlier, a Malaysian-based digital media company, LetsOTT, said that as many as 8.1 million concurrent viewers had logged on to the Disney + Hotstar app to watch the season opener on Saturday. According to media buyers, this number is a significant one, given the fact that the match was behind a paywall.
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