The numbers are growing, and how: Season 6 of the Indian Premier League has reported a total of 75.2 million viewers online, around 52% higher than the 49.3 million reported last year, halfway through the tournament (38 matches), across the combination of Times Internet owned BoxTV and on IPL on Google owned YouTube.
Times Internet has the rights for online streaming (and more) for the Indian Premier League, and has a partnership with YouTube for streaming it. The joint press release from the companies also states that the combined viewership of users watching highlights and clips increased 480% year on year, in terms of watch hours. Growth in viewership has been consistent this year, instead of the usual pattern of being high in the first two weeks, and then picking up again towards the end of the tournament, Praveen Sharma, Head of Media Sales for Google India said in the release.
Bangalore and Hyderabad lead the viewership with 14 per cent each, with Delhi coming in a close second at 10 percent. Maximum online views were registered on 23rd April between – Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Pune Warriors and Mumbai Indians vs Royal Challengers Bangalore on 25th April. Note that last year – for the whole tournament – Bangalore had accounted for the highest pageviews: 13.6% (around 15.37 million pageviews) of the total pageviews, followed by New Delhi which accounted for 13.2% (around 14.91 million pageviews) and Mumbai 9% (around 10.17 million pageviews).
Google and TIL haven’t shared much data this year: no stats were also available for the first week of the tournament (we’ve asked a few times), and nothing on overall pageviews or mobile views. We got much more data last year.
What would be really interesting – even though it is unlikely to be available – is the split in traffic between Box TV and YouTube. Until this season, Times Internet was streaming the IPL on Indiatimes.com, but this year, the IPL has been a key opportunity for it to drive visibility for its video business. Remember that a Times Internet led consortium had won the global rights to the Indian Premier League for Internet, Mobile, Radio and Television (for certain territories) for a total fee of Rs. 261.6 crore rupees for a four year period ending in 2014. Next season is its last season as the rights holder, and it will be interesting to see whether this initiative has been profitable, how the value of the rights change given the apparent growth in users, and whether TIL will bid again.
Update: So we have some Mobile related info: Viewership of live streams across all devices and all platforms for YouTube + Times Internet showed a growth of 63% over 2012.
They’ve declined to share more data for “business reasons”, which it appears didn’t apply last year. We wanted the same data as last year for comparative purposes.
Disclosure: Times Internet is an advertiser with MediaNama