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EXCLUSIVE: IPL 2023 season is most-watched edition ever as Disney Star coverage clocks 482m viewers

Total viewership on Indian pay-TV network surpasses 2019 record by 4m with eight matches remaining.

26 May 2023 Michael Long

Getty Images

  • Disney Star racks up more than 350bn minutes of watch-time
  • Advertising revenue also increases significantly

Indian pay-TV network Disney Star has revealed that the 2023 Indian Premier League (IPL) season is officially the most-watched edition ever, with live broadcasts over the first 66 matches reaching 482 million viewers.

The viewership total with eight matches still to be played is four million more than the previous high of 478 million, set over the course of the full 2019 season.

“IPL 2023 has shattered all previous viewership records on TV,” Sanjog Gupta, Disney Star’s head of sports, told SportsPro.

“Even in terms of consumption, we’re seeing record numbers with more than 350 billion minutes of watch-time. We have also seen 40 of the first 66 matches each registering peak concurrents of more than 30 million with a high of 56 million.

“This has made IPL 2023 an historic IPL on television across facets of reach, viewing time and frequency.”

The record viewership for the 2023 season comes after Disney Star splashed out I₹23,575 crore (US$3.02 billion) for the IPL’s domestic TV broadcast rights, with the broadcaster electing to show select games free-to-air (FTA) for the first time.

Initiatives like ‘Rivalry Week’, which featured marquee matchups during week six of the tournament, have helped boost interest in the league, according to Gupta, who said Disney Star added 21 million new viewers during that week alone.

“We also sought to redefine the traditional TV experience by offering fans at home access to instant replays, key moments, live statistics and highlights on the press of a button on their remotes,” he added. “This has fuelled the addition of 11 million subscribers during IPL 2023, boosting the penetration of Star Sports to an all-time high.”

On the back of its record viewership, advertising revenue has also increased significantly for Disney Star, with four new sponsors and 30 brands signing up since the IPL started, according to Gupta.

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