It has already become one of the hottest properties on TV surpassing those of "saas bahu" serials or music game shows if one goes by the viewers response during the first three matches of the DLF Indian Premier League.
According to TAM Media Research, Shah Rukh Khan's Kolkata Knight Riders took on Vijay Mallya's Royal Challengers during DLF's debut match in Bangalore on Friday, the official television broadcaster Sony Max delivered a television viewership rating (TVR) of 8.21 across six metros Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad and Bangalore. The elite viewership rating (Mumbai and Delhi) was 9.82.
Analysts said that these ratings proved that the league has a good start considering city teams was a new concept in India. Though there is still a large gap between the IPL and the viewership ratings during the World Cup Twenty20 matches held last year.
But those matches were telecast on two channels Star Cricket as well as ESPN Sports. If the viewership numbers of just one channel is considered, then the IPL numbers look pretty close to that of the World Cup.
During the the Twenty20 World Cup last year, the combined TVRs of the two channels ESPN Sports and Star Cricket was 17.9 for the semi-finals (India Vs Australia). ESPN had a TVR of 10.65 while Star Cricket only 7.25. The final match between India and Pakistan delivered a TVR of 21.4 (12.6 on ESPN and 8.8 for Star Cricket).
"We promoted the DLF Indian Premier League as 'Manoranjan Ka Baap' and the ratings show that we have lived up to it. We expect the numbers to grow in the coming days. Considering it is almost a 7-week tournament, there will be times when the rating may dip alongwith matches when the ratings shoot up. Finally, we estimate the ratings to grow," said Sneha Rajani, business head, Sony Max.
The Saturday match between Preity Zinta's Kings XI Punjab and Chennai Superkings, followed by Delhi Daredevils against Rajasthan Royals witnessed TVRs of 4.97 and 5.58, respectively.