The IPL is more popular than ever in the UK, with more than 250,000 people watching each game on average in the past two weeks. The latest figures from BARB (Broadcasters Audience Research Board) suggest the IPL is actually more popular than the English Premier League’s controversial new Pay Per View scheme.
Cricket has always been second favourite to the Premier League in the UK, but research from Cricket Bet India suggests the IPL has never been more popular, with Sky Sports Cricket drawing in 1,797,000 live viewers from October 12-18 – an average of 256,714 per day and a reach of well over 3,000,000 people over the whole month.
In 2019, the IPL peaked at 211,000 outside of international fixtures – showing a significant increase in popularity this year. The IPL, which heads towards the play-offs over the next couple of weeks before the final on November 10, has even performed better than the early PPV matches hosted on Sky Sports Box Office.
Newcastle’s game at home to Manchester United drew in just 40,000 viewers, Burnley v West Brom attracted under 1,000 subscribers, while Leicester v Aston Villa and Leicester v Sheffield United were also less than 40,000 according to figures released.
Even the highest recorded figures – Liverpool at home to Sheffield United drew in 110,000 and Arsenal v Leicester 140,000 – come in way below the average recorded daily figures for the IPL, suggesting the tournament has truly captured the imagination of the British public.
However Sky’s regular football matches still pulled in huge audiences that dominated the UK channels, with Manchester United v Chelsea on Saturday 24 October pulling in an average audience of 1,700,000.
The IPL still has a way to go to catch up to the overall value and popularity of the EPL, but as discussed in Cricket Bet India’s study, it’s current rate of growth (11% year-on-year) makes it one of the fastest growing brands on the planet.