The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020, which kicked-off last week with a game between defending champions Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings (CSK), set a new viewership world record in the sporting field. The MI vs CSK game saw an unprecedented 20 crore people tuning in to watch the two IPL heavyweights face off, making it the most watched opening game of any sports league across the globe. Announcing the news, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Secretary Jay Shah tweeted: “Opening match of #Dream11IPL sets a new record! As per BARC, an unprecedented 20crore people tuned in to watch the match. Highest ever opening day viewership for any sporting league in any country- no league has ever opened as big as this”.
Opening match of #Dream11IPL sets a new record!
As per BARC, an unprecedented 20crore people tuned in to watch the match. Highest ever opening day viewership for any sporting league in any country- no league has ever opened as big as this. @IPL @SGanguly99 @UShanx @DisneyPlusHS
— Jay Shah (@JayShah) September 22, 2020
The Indian audience, deprived of any live sporting action, involving their local stars, for over six months, was waiting for the tournament to begin with bated breath.
Hence this news is something that most people expected, including the BCCI President Sourav Ganguly, who had weeks before the tournament began had said that he expected IPL 2020 to shatter all viewership records this year.
“Crowds will watch it on television…they (the broadcasters) are actually expecting the highest rating of IPL this season because they believe if (people) don’t turn up in the ground, they will be actually watching on their television sets,” Ganguly said while delivering an online lecture.
Apart from drawing the world record audience, the IPL 2020 opener also lived up to the expectations of all the fans and delivered a nail-biting contest, which kept them tied to their seats throughout the match.
In the end, MS Dhoni’s men got the better of the defending champions Mumbai Indians, registering a five-wicket win to avenge their narrow one-run defeat in the last year’s summit clash.
(With PTI inputs)
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