New Delhi | Jagran Sports Desk: The ongoing edition of the Indian Premier League in the United Arab Emirates delivered a whooping 26.9 crore viewers in its opening week and saw a fifteen per cent growth in viewing minutes as compared to last year, as per a BARC-Nielsen report released on Thursday. 

Despite lesser matches and fewer channels broadcasting the league, the opening weekend witnessed a 21 per cent growth in average impressions per match compared to the like period of the last year’s edition, the report said, as stated by news agency IANS.

The tournament began on September 19 in Abu Dhabi, nearly six months after being indefinitely delayed amid the threat of the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent unavailability of foreign players. The first match was played between defending champions Mumbai Indians and MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings and the latter had registered a five wicket win. The match had witnessed former Indian Cricketer MS Dhoni back in action after a 14-month long hiatus. 

The report stated that the encounter was watched by 15.8 crore viewers — 21 per cent higher than IPL 2019, and attracted 5.2 crore impressions — 29 per cent higher than IPL 2019. 

The second match between Kings XI Punjab and Delhi capitals had witnessed a super over. Each match of the week was watched by an average 1.1 crore more viewers than in 2019. 

The opening week had a culminate reach of 60.6 billion viewing minutes and was watched by one out of three television viewers, the report stated. In addition, a 32 per cent gain in user base was seen in OTT platforms over the week. Advertising volumes also witnessed a growth in all matches, barring the seventh match. 

Posted By: Lakshay Raja