IPL vs Bigg Boss: Cricket emerges as 'boss' of entertainment, leaves mega reality show far behind in TRP game

Theatres remaining shut due to COVID scares and no new release of big movies translated into a boom in the TV audience. The result can be seen as two of the dominant show in India go head to head

This year, the most talked-about clash has not happened on the big screen. It is being waged on TV sets, between Indian Premier League (IPL) and the reality TV show, Bigg Boss. For a head-start at least, cricket has emerged as the boss of entertainment, with IPL seeing better ratings that the blockbuster annual show.


Two of the TV giants, sports and reality drama went head to head two weeks ago. Cricket emerged out on the top, leading the TRP game but still has a few weeks on before it can be declared victorious. Due to COVID, theatres have been shut and for the same reason, no movies are being launched by Bollywood. However, it’s not all dull and boring as daily live shows are being aired adhering to the protocols of COVID. This has brought a clash, at the viewers' behest between the two most-watched programmes- the IPL and Bigg Boss.
According to a report by Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC), the opening week of the cricket tournament this year saw 21 per cent growth in average impressions per IPL match as compared to 2019, despite one less match and fewer channels than last year.


IPL vs Bigg Boss, The TRP battle: Key points

  • The report pointed out that a total of 269 million viewers watched IPL in its opening week, with 11 million more viewers per match compared to 2019, adding that 44 per cent of TV households watched IPL-13 Live, with a peak in viewership for HD channels.
  • In the Hindi Speaking Markets (Urban), the viewing minutes in billions for the launch week of season 14 was 3.1. As compared to previous seasons, this is better. The season 13 sum was 2.5, season 12 was 2.6 and season 11 was 2. In the Hindi Speaking Market (Urban and rural), the launch week registered 3.9 billion viewing minutes. Season 13 and 12 had garnered 3.4, and season 11 was 2.5.
  • After months of uncertainty, the 13th edition of IPL opened on September 19 with Mumbai Indians taking on Chennai Super Kings in the first match held at United Arab Emirates (UAE). The opening match witnessed a viewership of 52 million impressions (29 per cent higher than 2019) and was watched by 158 million viewers (21 per cent higher than 2019).
  • The controversial reality show "Bigg Boss", after a hugely successful season 13, returned with season 14 on October 3. With Bollywood superstar, Salman Khan returning as a host, the contestants' roster included Eijaaz Khan, Nikki Tamboli, Pavitra Punia, Abhinav Shukla, Rubina Dilaik, Jasmin Bhasin, Jaan Kumar Sanu, Rahul Vaidya, Nishant Singh Malkani, Shezaad Deol and Sara Gurpal. Star contestants of previous editions -- Sidharth Shukla, Hina Khan and Gauahar Khan -- joined as Toofani Seniors.
  • It is important to note that "Bigg Boss" started much after IPL, and is expected to catch up subsequently. With IPL scheduled to end on November 10, "Bigg Boss" is likely to take over the Indian small screen after that. That, though, depends on how the show unfolds and whether the contestants manage to grab the attention of the viewers with fresh tricks.