The IPL has been suspended; the bio-bubble has burst. But were the signals – the negativity already visible? The Indian Institute of Human Marks (IIHB) and the Rediffusion Consumer Lab (Red Lab) had been tracking consumer sentiment for three weeks: The bomb hit the IPL at almost the right time.

Call it a premonition. Or call it safe guesswork. Or call it the gut feeling. Or, just call it common sense. The Indian Institute of Human Marks (IIHB) and the Rediffusion Consumer Lab (more commonly known as Red Lab) launched a small consumer survey on April 17-18. 482 respondents (M = 271, F = 211) ask the following questions:

The same questions were asked of the same respondents the following week, April 24 and 25. There was an abandonment rate of 22% of “unavailable” or “unreachable” respondents from the previous week. A third set of the same questions was administered on May 1 and 2, with the dropout rate decreasing by 18% compared to the initial sample.

Sentiment started off rather positive at 81% saying ‘yes’, 14% saying ‘no’ and the rest ‘maybe / don’t know’ in week 1.

At week 2, 75% were “yes”, 21% “no” and the balance was undecided.

Week 3 saw a big plunge with only 58% still saying ‘yes’. “No” was up to 37%, with the numbers almost doubling. It looks like the grim reality of the resurgence of the pandemic in India is finally catching up with India’s biggest sports entertainment spectacle!

Those Week 3 comments had already been taped before news of the IPL bio-bubble violation became public.

Thus, the drop in sentiment cannot be attributed to the actual negative news from the IPL front.

Overall, the majority of last weekend was still in favor of holding the IPL, but the decline in 3-week support was visibly significant.