Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], May 6 (ANI): The 14th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) kick-started on April 9 just five months after the conclusion of the 13th edition of the tournament. But still, the viewership numbers skyrocketed as Star India network garnered a cumulative reach of 352 million in the first 26 matches of the league this season as compared to 349 million in the corresponding number of matches in IPL 2020.
Since acquiring the media rights for the league, Star and Disney India have tremendously grown the league year-on-year. According to Star, the upward trend reflects the loyalty of the fans and the popularity of the IPL. But they are also clear that despite the numbers, postponing the league was the right decision with an eye on the COVID-19 situation.
"We are humbled with the response to IPL 2021. While it's heartening to know that more viewers tuned in to watch this IPL season than the one in 2020 (at the same stage of the tournament), we still believe that postponing the season was the right decision to ensure the safety of everyone involved and in line with the prevailing situation in the country," said a Star Sports spokesperson.
The IPL megacast with nine different feeds in multiple languages along with broadcast innovations such as simulated crowd sound and dynamic audio kept viewers equally engaged as the last season. The Star India network had earlier announced that it had clocked 323 million* total impressions for the opening match of IPL 2021.
Star India backed the Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI) decision to postpone the 14th edition of the IPL on Tuesday.
Star India, the broadcasters of the showpiece event, thanked BCCI, IPL GC, and franchises for their support during the tournament.
"Star India supports BCCI's decision to postpone IPL 2021. The health and safety of players, staff and everyone involved in the IPL are of paramount importance. We thank the BCCI, IPL Governing Council, players, franchisees and sponsors for their support," said Star India in an official statement.
The safety of every individual involved in the IPL was one of the major reasons for the BCCI and the IPL Governing Council to unanimously decide on the postponement of the league on Tuesday. (ANI)