IPL total viewership falls in opening week

New Delhi: The fifth edition of the Indian Premier League has recorded a dip in the viewership and television ratings for the opening matches of the tournament as compared those of last year.

The Television Viewer Ratings (TVR) were down 18.7 per in in the first six games, posting an average TVR of 3.76 as compared to 4.63 last season, according to Tam Media Research.

This also includes a decline in total viewership for the first time in the IPL`s five-year history.

Last year recorded the lowest television ratings of the first four seasons of the IPL, down by 29 per cent from 2010.

And even this year`s ratings does not seem to portray a very bright picture so far.

According to Sridhar Ramanujam, the head of brand consulting firm Brand Comm, the problem lies in too many games being played. A total of 76 matches would be played among nine teams, playing each other on a home and away basis before a four-game play-off.

"I think the whole (IPL) business model is a bit shaky now and not as robust as it was made out to be when it first started," Ramanujam was quoted as saying by espncricinfo.

The advertisers have also adopted a wait-and-watch approach to the tournament this season, with three leading brands -- Parle, LG Electronics and Godrej -- opting out of the league this season.

However, IPL chief Rajiv Shukla refused to admit that there have been a fall in the ratings.

"All three formats of cricket are important for the BCCI (Indian Cricket Board) and there has been no dip in the TRP ratings for the IPL," he said.