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As midnight approaches, it is IPL Vs slumber
The first IPL outing for Star, which bought the broadcast rights for Rs 16,347.5 crore last year, has been successful, with numbers suggesting a spike in viewership from last season.

  The 2018 season of the Indian Premier League has so far produced more last-over thrillers than usual. But the late finishes, with matches ending on average between 11.55 pm and midnight, have an unusual consequence. That many television sets are turned off across the country in the last hour despite nail-biting finishes.

The trend has Star India, in their first season as official broadcasters for the IPL, coping with a major dip in TRPs post-11 pm. Star India managing director Sanjay Gupta told The Indian Express that there was a nearly 40-50 per cent dip in that period.

The first IPL outing for Star, which bought the broadcast rights for Rs 16,347.5 crore last year, has been successful, with numbers suggesting a spike in viewership from last season. But the steep decline in viewership towards the business end of most matches has strengthened their view that the IPL would be better off if matches would start an hour earlier, like the playoffs next week.

READ | IPL has a new problem: Fans seem to prefer sleep over sport after 11pm

“The drop starts at 10.45 pm to about 25 per cent and then it increased progressively. The last half hour in a normal match should be your highest number of viewers. If you compare it to what you call an opportunity cost, the gap could be as high as 50 per cent. Most of small-town India and a large part of urban India start sleeping around 11-11.30 pm. Even entertainment programs peak before 10 pm and dip thereafter,” Gupta said.

READ | IPL 2018 Playoff matches and final to begin at 7 pm IST

The introduction of the Umpire Decision Review System (DRS) this season has only extended the length of matches. Though Gupta lauded the introduction of technology to the most high-profile T20 league in the world, the extra 15-20 minutes added to the duration has also impacted ratings.
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