London:The second Indian Premier League held in South Africa was a "fantastic commercial and sporting success" but the global television viewership of the cash-rich event had dropped compared to the inaugural year, a report by an independent global sports consultancy firm said.
"Barring South Africa, there was an average 20 per cent fall in viewership across four other major cricket playing nations - India, Australia, New Zealand and Britain," the Viewertrack report published by Futures Sport+Entertainment said.
"In South Africa the audiences grew by more than 80 per cent on account of the country hosting the tournament.
"Major opportunities existed in markets outside India to tap into Twenty20 television audiences, with the implicit suggestion that if the IPL did not move in, there are other potential rivals waiting in the wings," it said.
According to the report, four reasons for the decline in viewership were hosting the event outside India, Australian market switching from free-to-air Network Ten channel in 2008 to the One HD channel in 2009, potential audience fatigue after the novelty of the first season and difficulty in sustaining the interest in all 59 matches.
The report said the IPL managed to make inroads into British market with the help of factors such as, the choice of a better TV channel, creating awareness among fans, giving fans reasons to support a franchise and highlighting local heroes - Andrew Flintoff and Kevin Pietersen.