When the Indian Premier League took off in 2008, it had captured the imagination of the entire nation. But India’s love affair with IPL seems to have hit a speed bump.
According to a survey conducted by a British consultancy firm, Brand Finance, the IPL’s brand value has decreased by 11 percent from last year’s 4.1 billion US dollars to 3.67 billion US dollars.
But that’s not the only bad news for the BCCI to digest. The TV viewership of the IPL 2011 tournament also has seen a downswing of almost 22 percent, according to TAM Media Research, India's leading ratings agency.
According to another survey, Indian households prefer to watch movies and dramas instead of IPL matches during prime time television.
Research also shows that IPL fans are not happy with the addition of two new teams, Pune Warriors and Kochi Tuskers Kerala, since they think that this has made the tournament unnecessarily lengthy and boring.
Both fans and experts think ‘cricket fatigue’ is a big reason for IPL not attracting as many eyeballs. The fact that the World Cup heroes are playing for different teams has also alienated Indian fans.
Another factor the study has pointed out is that the fans are averse to watch a player, who played for their side in past seasons, playing for a rival team.
Some cricket lovers have also pointed to the absence of Lalit Modi, the founder and promoter of IPL, as a cause for the lack of interest in the tournament. Sidhartha Mallya, owner of the Royal Challengers Bangalore franchise, has compared the IPL without Modi to “sugarfree candyfloss”.
Mallya Jr on Monday had said, “It looks the same, tastes the same but you know something is missing... Modi had a vision.”