The Indian Premier League 2021 Phase 2 is all set to begin from 19 September in United Arab Emirates. The tournament was postponed in early May of this year due to the transmission of Covid cases to different teams. But, it was a very good decision by the BCCI and IPL Governing council to schedule the rest of the tournament outside of India because of persistent active cases in the country. Another major announcement is around the corner regarding the teams of IPL 2022.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India has been proactive in making arrangements and staging the tournaments in a successful manner. For the IPL 2022, the BCCI and the IPL Governing Council have started the procedures for the mega auction that is likely to be conducted in December this year.
It is learnt that the BCCI is looking to expand the IPL to utilize the Hindi Market which is thriving in terms of cricket-watching audience. In this respect, the six cities have been selected by BCCI to improve the balance of the zones and business opportunities. These cities are Ranchi, Guwahati, and Cuttack in the East, Ahmedabad in West, Lucknow in Central, and Dharamsala in North Zone. All these six cities have their stadiums built and have hosted international matches as well. It is evident that the IPL currently has 3 teams representing the South region, and balance has to be given to attract audience from all regions of the country.
According to the data known to the BCCI, the sports watching audience is quite high in the Hindi speaking regions as compared to any other regions. As per Cricbuzz, 65% of the viewership which comes to around 4 billion minutes of the IPL 2020 coverage in Star Sports was solely contributed by the Hindi region.
Recently, The Sony Sports Network turned up as the no.1 Sports channel in India in terms of viewership. According to its data for the ongoing England vs India Test Match series, around 50% has been contributed by the Hindi broadcast, and 10% for the English. This is the reason of BCCI exploring opportunities to make India Premier League a pan-India cricket league.
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