The first Indian Premier League (IPL) match of the new season between Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Super Kings saw a dip in TV ratings in India compared to last year.

According to the viewership data provided by overnight TV audience measurement agency Audience Measurement and Analytics Ltd (aMap), the television ratings for the first two matches stood at 3.6 per cent (Mumbai Indians versus Chennai Super Kings) and 3.8 per cent (Royal Challengers Bangalore versus Rajasthan Royals) respectively, compared to 4.3 per cent for the first match of IPL۪s inaugural season (Kolkata Knight Riders versus Royal Challengers Bangalore on April 18, 2008).

The IPL coverage in India is shown on MAX, while Setanta Sports holds the rights for UK broadcast.

These ratings are based on cable homes and among viewers in the 15-plus age group in the top six cities, a standard parameter used by ratings agencies and media planners for measuring the sports genre of TV channels. India has about 86 million cable homes.

The dip in viewership numbers for IPL matches has not surprised media agencies. Explaining the reasons for it, Anita Nayyar, chief executive of Havas Media India, told Business Standard, “We expected a decline in viewership ratings on two counts. First, the novelty factor was missing since this is the second year. This trend is also noticeable for realty shows that air for the second or third time. Second, IPL moving out of India has also contributed to the decline in ratings.”

Nayyar said lower viewership ratings were expected for the weekday matches, but she expected viewership to gather momentum towards the latter half of IPL.