IPL 11

No late show: IPL viewers switching off by 11 pm, says report

With daily matches on weekdays and long delays, it is evident that sleep is winning this battle for the average Indian audience.

In their first outing as IPL’s broadcasters, Star India is facing a strange problem – while the ratings for the matches are on the rise, they are not consistent through the match, the viewership is dropping close to midnight. The reason: all the matches this season have stretched on longer than the scheduled 11.20 pm end time, sometimes finishing 30 minutes later with the presentation ceremony.

With daily matches on weekdays and such long delays, it is evident that sleep is winning this battle for the average Indian audience. Even in cases of close matches, there has been a noticeable fall in TRPs at the end of the match. Star India had bagged the global IPL media rights for an astronomical Rs 16,347.50 crore.

Sanjay Gupta, the managing director of Star India, told The Indian Express that there was a nearly 40-50% drop around 11 pm.

“The drop starts at 10.45 pm to about 25% 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 was quoted as saying.

This decline in ratings could be one the primary reasons why the four IPL playoff matches this season were rescheduled to start at 7 pm instead of 8.

One of the reasons for the delay, according to Gupta, is the introduction of DRS. “Roughly the matches are ending half-hour later at around 11.55 pm to midnight broadly. We think there will be a dramatic increase in people who will be available from 7-11 pm as compared to 8 pm to midnight just because of that last one hour,” he said.

An earlier report had stated that Star had asked the BCCI to advance the match start by an hour earlier as well. However, IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla said that some of the franchises were not so keen on the change because stadiums don’t fill at that time.

As The Field had written earlier in the season, matches have regularly shot beyond the scheduled end-time of 11:20 pm, with only Virat Kohli and Ainkya Rahane being fined for over-rates. However, rarely has a match finished within its given time so far this season.

Support our journalism by subscribing to Scroll+ here. We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

Tracing the formation of Al Qaeda and its path to 9/11

A new show looks at some of the crucial moments leading up to the attack.

“The end of the world war had bought America victory but not security” - this quote from Lawrence Wright’s Pulitzer-Prize winning book, ‘The Looming Tower’, gives a sense of the growing threat to America from Al Qaeda and the series of events that led to 9/11. Based on extensive interviews, including with Bin Laden’s best friend in college and the former White House counterterrorism chief, ‘The Looming Tower’ provides an intimate perspective of the 9/11 attack.

Lawrence Wright chronicles the formative years of Al Qaeda, giving an insight in to Bin Laden’s war against America. The book covers in detail, the radicalisation of Osama Bin Laden and his association with Ayman Al Zawahri, an Egyptian doctor who preached that only violence could change history. In an interview with Amazon, Wright shared, “I talked to 600-something people, but many of those people I talked to again and again for a period of five years, some of them dozens of times.” Wright’s book was selected by TIME as one of the all-time 100 best nonfiction books for its “thoroughly researched and incisively written” account of the road to 9/11 and is considered an essential read for understanding Islam’s war on the West as it developed in the Middle East.

‘The Looming Tower’ also dwells on the response of key US officials to the rising Al Qaeda threat, particularly exploring the turf wars between the FBI and the CIA. This has now been dramatized in a 10-part mini-series of the same name. Adapted by Dan Futterman (of Foxcatcher fame), the series mainly focuses on the hostilities between the FBI and the CIA. Some major characters are based on real people - such as John O’ Neill (FBI’s foul-mouthed counterterrorism chief played by Jeff Daniels) and Ali Soufan (O’ Neill’s Arabic-speaking mentee who successfully interrogated captured Islamic terrorists after 9/11, played by Tahar Rahim). Some are composite characters, such as Martin Schmidt (O’Neill’s CIA counterpart, played by Peter Sarsgaard).

The series, most crucially, captures just how close US intelligence agencies had come to foiling Al Qaeda’s plans, just to come up short due to internal turf wars. It follows the FBI and the CIA as they independently follow intelligence leads in the crises leading up to 9/11 – the US Embassy bombings in East Africa and the attack on US warship USS Cole in Yemen – but fail to update each other. The most glaring example is of how the CIA withheld critical information – Al Qaeda operatives being hunted by the FBI had entered the United States - under the misguided notion that the CIA was the only government agency authorised to deal with terrorism threats.

The depth of information in the book has translated into a realistic recreation of the pre-9/11 years on screen. The drama is even interspersed with actual footage from the 9/11 conspiracy, attack and the 2004 Commission Hearing, linking together the myriad developments leading up to 9/11 with chilling hindsight. Watch the trailer of this gripping show below.


The Looming Tower is available for streaming on Amazon Prime Video, along with a host of Amazon originals and popular movies and TV shows. To enjoy unlimited ad free streaming anytime, anywhere, subscribe to Amazon Prime Video.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Amazon Prime Video and not by the Scroll editorial team.