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Record 168m people watched IPL 2024 opening ceremony, match

The inaugural day saw an astounding watch-time of 12,760 million minutes, marking the highest-ever for the first day of any IPL edition.

Royal Challengers Bengaluru’s Virat Kohli greets Chennai Super Kings’ MS Dhoni (R) at the end of the Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty20 cricket match between Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on March 22, 2024. (Photo by R.SATISH BABU/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Shubham Ghosh

THE 17th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket tournament, which kicked off on March 22, achieved unprecedented viewership numbers on its opening day, reported the host broadcaster.

According to Disney Star, the official broadcaster, a staggering 168 million individuals tuned in to witness both the dazzling ceremony and the game, setting a new record.

Moreover, the inaugural day saw an astounding watch-time of 12,760 million minutes, marking the highest-ever for the first day of any IPL edition.

Additionally, the 17th season of the IPL recorded the highest-ever peak TV concurrency for an opening day, with 61 million viewers simultaneously watching the broadcast on the Disney Star network.

Read: Carnage in IPL 2024 as Hyderabad blast 277 in 20 overs vs Mumbai, set record

Indian actor Akshay Kumar performs at the opening ceremony of IPL 2024
Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar performs during the opening ceremony of the Indian Premier League (IPL) before the start of Twenty20 cricket match between Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on March 22, 2024. (Photo by R.SATISH BABU/AFP via Getty Images)

Defending champions Chennai Super Kings took on Royal Challengers Bengaluru in the opening game and won the contest by six wickets at MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.

Read: IPL 2024: Dhoni’s agility at 42 leaves netizens stunned; WATCH THE CATCH

The game saw two of the biggest names of Indian cricket in contemporary times — Mahendra Singh Dhoni (Chennai) and Virat Kohli (Bengaluru) — playing.

“This is a monumental achievement, made possible by fans’ love for Star Sports and an unwavering commitment of the network to ‘serving fans’. We would also like to thank all our partners and extend heartfelt gratitude to the BCCI for their support of the wide array of initiatives that Star Sports has continually undertaken to grow Cricket and TATA IPL,” a Star Sports spokesperson said in a release.

“This growth is a reaffirmation of the incomparable capacity of Live Cricket to aggregate audiences on TV and provides a blockbuster start to the tournament. We will continue to enrich the magic of one of the world’s biggest sporting events to take forward the launch momentum and deliver unprecedented viewership.”

The record-breaking TV viewership on the opening day comes on the back of an array of programmes in the lead-up to the 17th season which attracted more than 245 million viewers till a week prior to the start of the tournament.

The final of the tournament will be played in Chennai on May 26. The entire tournament will be played in India despite the general elections beginning April 19 and continuing till June 4 when the results will be declared.

(With agency inputs)

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