BCCI secretary Jay Shah on Tuesday revealed that the opening match of IPL 2020 was watched by 20 crore people. Jay Shah said it was the highest-ever viewership for any sporting league in any country.
Notably, the IPL 2020 opening match was played on September 19 between defending champions Mumbai Indians (MI) and Chennai Super Kings (CSK) at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
MS Dhoni-led CSK had won the game against Mumbai Indians led by Rohit Sharma in the 19th over with four balls to spare.
IPL 2020 has come as a major relief for Indians who have been waiting for months for some live cricketing action.
What did Jay Shah say?
Jay Shah took to Twitter to reveal the viewership information. He tweeted: “Opening match of #Dream11IPL sets a new record! As per BARC, an unprecedented 20 crore people tuned in to watch the match. Highest ever opening day viewership for any sporting league in any country- no league has ever opened as big as this.”
Shah tagged BCCI President Sourav Ganguly and president of Walt Disney Company Uday Shankar in his tweet.
IPL 2020 shifted to UAE due to COVID-19 pandemic
Due to the coronavirus pandemic that has engulfed the world, the IPL 2020 that was supposed to start on March 29 had to be postponed. Later, the cancellation of the ICC T20 World Cup made way for the IPL.
However, owing to strict government regulations concerning sports gatherings, the tournament was shifted to the UAE. IPL 2020 will be played across three venues—Sharjah, Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
Controversy over sponsorship
A controversy over the title sponsorship of the tournament began amid the stand-off with China along the Line of Actual Control in the eastern Ladakh region. At that point of time, Chinese handset maker Vivo was the title sponsor.
As a result, Vivo declined to sponsor the event. Thereafter, BCCI had to again hunt for a title sponsor. Although Dream11 won the title sponsorship, the company’s bid was much less than what Vivo used to pay.
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