Image subjected to copyright.

IPL 2022 season has begun. More than 3 quarters of the season is almost done. The latest concern regarding the league is the reduced viewership of the league. With the IPL Broadcasting Rights going up for auction in the upcoming month, this has raised a few eyebrows as the estimated 30,000 crores look like an over-estimation. The league has seen a 24% drop in viewership. So, what are the possible reasons for this drop? Here’s an in-depth analysis: 

Most Successful Teams Not Performing Well in IPL 2022: 

A huge number of fans come from the teams such as the Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings. Both these teams by far have created a legacy of themselves. The fans just want to see these teams do well. It has become a habit for the users to log on to their TV screen and see MS Dhoni and Rohit Sharma bash the bowlers. However, this season has had a different story. Both Mumbai and Chennai are struggling big time. Mumbai Indians are in hot waters as the franchise is already out of contention for the title. The same applies to the Super Kings. The Mumbai Indians have a cumulative fan base of over a billion on their media handles. Imagine losing out on a certain portion of that number! 

Loss of Players with a Big Brand and Face Value: 

This season is missing out on a few Superstars of the IPL. If you see the RCB batting lineup, you want to see ABD on that list, isn’t it? But that wasn’t the case this year as AB De Villiers announced his retirement from all forms of cricket earlier this year. India’s love for ABD is unmatched and his absence has left many fans dejected as well.  The other Superstar is China Thala Suresh Raina. The locals from Kanpur and Lucknow were supporting Chennai just due to the presence of Mr. IPL. With his departure from the league, a certain section of fans isn’t seeing Star TV Network every evening at 7:30 pm.  

Christopher Henry Gayle, the biggest entertainer of the IPL is also not featuring this season. Gayle has an amazing stint with RCB and also with the Punjab Kings. His fan-following in Bangalore is unmatched. There was a time in the IPL, when people just wanted to watch the Universe Boss do what he does best, SMASH! Ben Stokes, Mitchell Starc, Pollard’s poor form, Andre Russell’s poor form in IPL 2022, and Virat and Rohit’s dry runs can all cumulatively add to a reduced viewership.  

Length of IPL 2022 and New Teams: 

With two new teams in the mix, it was expected to be an even bigger and larger-than-life experience. But a certain section of people felt that the extended season is getting boring. When the IPL was first staged, people were awaiting a package full of action, thrill, and entertainment in a period of 1 and half months. But the tournament this season goes up to 2 months increasing the length to an unwanted time. With the new teams, the players are also expected to be sub-standard.  

With 8 teams in the mix like in IPL 2021, only the best 56 players (7 Indians * 8 teams) would showcase their talent. Now the number has risen to 70! I do agree that India has a lot of talent and 70 players can be managed but we need to also consider the standard set by the previous tournaments. A similar problem is faced by ISL and the Pro Kabaddi League.  

Over-Packaging and Over-Branding by the Broadcaster: 

The current broadcaster considers the IPL as his marquee product. And at times the marketing becomes too much. This season the previews and the highlights packaging started 2 months before the actual tournament. The hype created was so much that the league failed to match it! And eventually, IPL 2022 became overhyped! The fact that it will be a “10-Team Tournament”, it is the “World’s Toughest T20 League” was over bombarded the audience. Even limited branding with creative content could have done wonders to the league.   

In conclusion, I would say that the BCCI is a smart organization. It has the right people to deal with such situations. Great minds like Dada, Jay Shah, and Pragyan Ojha are all geniuses when it comes to the game. We as the fan community have faith in the BCCI and believe that this loophole will be filled at the earliest.  

To know more go to the official website of the IPL.

To know more go to the official website of the BCCI.