This year's Indian Premier League, hosted by the UAE due to Covid-19 concerns, has attracted record television viewing figures.
The competition was won by the Mumbai Indians, the tournament's dominant franchise since it began in 2008, who defeated Delhi Capitals in Dubai by five wickets.
It was the fifth time Mumbai have crowned champions of cricket's richest tournament.
There were no fans present at matches – that were held in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah – and the franchises were all staying in bio-secure 'bubbles' across the country.
With the start of the tournament delayed by seven months due to the pandemic, as well as the fact supporters were unable to attend, it was widely predicted the TV audience would be record-setting.
The latest viewing figures from the Broadcast Audience Research Council suggest a 24 per cent increase on 2019.
The Financial Times reports that TV viewer data for 58 of the season’s 60 matches suggest that a total of 383 billion minutes of the tournament were watched.
A record 200 million viewers watched the opening match – when Chennai Super Kings beat defending champions Mumbai by five wickets – in September on television and digital platforms.
Jay Shah, the secretary for the Board of Control for Cricket in India, said the fixture attracted the largest viewership in history for the opening match of any domestic league competition.
Disney, which holds the TV and digital rights for the IPL, has not provided advertising figures, but consultancy Media Partners Asia estimated that total revenues rose 10 per cent to more than $400m.
“It has gone on to become probably the most successful IPL tournament ever,” Uday Shankar, Disney’s president of Asia-Pacific, told the Financial Times.
“Coming on the back of the massive disruption of the economy and the advertising market, there was a real concern.
“We knew people were hungry for IPL and would consume it but we were not sure how much would be the appetite from the advertisers. But even that was absolutely astounding.”
IPL team of the tournament
Updated: November 13, 2020 03:16 PM