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IPL2 opens on a lower ratings score
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MUMBAI: The second edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), which coincides with the general election season in India, has opened to a lower ratings score compared to the inaugural version last year.

The IPL opener between Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings (CSK), which engaged cricketing icons Sachin Tendulkar and Mahendra Singh Dhoni in combat, posted a debut rating of 5.55 TVR (television rating points) compared to 8.21 in season 1, according to data collated by TV rating agency Tam from six metros, across cable & satellite four-year-plus households.

It is too early to define a TV viewing trend, but audiences could have moved to news channels as the Lok Sabha elections are in process,” says a media analyst.

The second match between the Rajasthan Royals and Royal Challengers Bangalore fared no better with an average TVR of 5.48, suggesting that IPL 2 could find itself locked in TV viewership battle with political leaders like Lalu Prasad Yadav, LK Advani, Sonia Gandhi and Mayawati who are in hectic campaign tours to woo voters as they attempt to form the next government at the Centre.

The two matches, however, fetched relatively higher ratings among digital viewers, clocking 7.24 TVR for the first match and 6.71 for the second.

In analogue cable, which has an overpowering reach and is the most important segment for the advertisers, the TVRs stood at 5.33 and 5.32 for the two matches.

A healthy trend that is emerging, though, is a loyalty factor for the IPL team franchises. Chennai, for instance, notched up a TVR of 6.18 for the match which involved their local team CSK. This fell to a TVR of 3.08 for the second IPL match. A similar viewing thread ran through Bangalore which saw a TVR of 5.52 dip to 4.03 when their team did not participate.

Mumbai followed a different viewership path, but this perhaps could be due to a more cosmopolitan population mix. The metro notched up a TVR of 6.94 for the second match, up from 6.62 when the Mumbai team was actually playing.

Surprisingly, the cricket-frenzy city of Kolkata has not taken to the IPL in a big way. The TVRs for the two matches stayed at 4.05 and 4.18 while Delhi has been more tuned in with ratings of 5.72 and 6.14. Hyderabad has also participated in the IPL bonaza with TVRs of 5.81 and 5.11 for the two matches.

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