MEC, a leading media buying and planning agency and a founding partner of GroupM, announced the findings of their Indian Premier League (IPL) TV Rating Estimation Study.
Now in its fifth edition, the study has come to be the definitive barometer to gauge expectations around the blockbuster event.
A combination of primary research and high-end analytics, the study has achieved 100% accuracy in the past, including last year.
The research was conducted in Mumbai, New Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Pune, Chandigarh and Ahmedabad. As in previous years, the study has been carried out in association with Meritus, WPP's analytics company.
Key findings of the study are:
Average TV rating for the league stage is expected to go up from 3.8 last year to 3.9 - an increase of 2.6% (15+ years, Male/Female, SEC ABC)
MI (4.5), KKR (4.2) and CSK (4.1) games to have the highest ratings
Home team (84%), favorite team (79%) and Indian stars (64%) continue to be deciding factors to watch a match. Time of the match (49%) is also gaining importance.
MI (23%), Chennai (19%) and KKR (14%) are the most popular teams. Support for Hyderabad has gone up by 200% (2% to 6%), Bangalore has dropped by 50% (12% to 8%)
Sachin Tendulkar (80), MS Dhoni (79), Yuvraj Singh (76), Virat Kohli (74) and Virender Sehwag (73) are the most popular Indian players in the League; Chris Gayle (60), Ricky Ponting (55), Brett Lee (51) and Kevin Pietersen (50) are most popular foreign players
Said T Gangadhar, Managing Director, MEC India, "Our study suggests that IPL seems to have matured as a property. The study clearly establishes that ratings in the first phase (first 18 games) impact the fate of the entire league. With Pepsi activating their title sponsorship in a big way, the BCCI launching the IPL Fantasy League and India's strong performance against Australia, the first stage of the league could get further momentum."
"We expect the IPL Fantasy League to become a key part of the live broadcast experience and as a result, social chatter around IPL could grow significantly," Gangadhar added.
Sunder Muthuraman, Managing Partner, Meritus Analytics, also believes that the IPL brand is reflecting the behaviour of a typical mature consumer product.
"Our proprietary survey, that is integral to the forecast, shows that there is a segment of audience who will watch more than last year (say, the loyalists) and another segment who will watch lesser (say, the rejecters)," said Sunder.
"Given that the former segment is larger than the latter, the ratings are likely to be marginally higher than in 2012. Given our past successes, we hope our pioneering rating forecast methodology will be adopted by all broadcasters and advertisers," Sunder concluded.