The Indian Premier League (IPL) has never been more popular in the United Kingdom, with the latest figures from the Broadcasters Audience Research Board (BARB) suggesting the tournament’s viewership has topped even that of some English Premier League (EPL) football matches.
BARB says an average of over 250,000 people have tuned in across the UK to watch the IPL over the last two weeks, and research from Cricket Bet India puts Sky Sports Cricket’s live viewers at 1,797,000 from October 12-18. That’s comfortably more than the figures IPL recorded last year, with the average for 2020 significantly higher than the peak viewership in 2019, of 211,000.
Notably, the figures are better than the English Premier League’s early viewership under their controversial new Pay Per View system – Newcastle United’s home game against Manchester United had just 40,000 viewers.
“No way! No, no way! You cannot do that, Jofra Archer!”pic.twitter.com/LxJvcBDCMg
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) October 25, 2020
According to figures released, even the highest-recorded viewers for a PPV EPL match – Liverpool’s game at home to Sheffield United drew in 110,000 and Arsenal’s clash against Leicester City touched 140,000 – were well below the IPL average in the UK.
The IPL is still well off the overall value and popularity of the EPL in UK, but the tournament has an 11 per cent growth rate, according to Cricket Bet India’s study.