Team India’s Clash with English Grabs Most Eyeballs
India vs England ODI series breaks viewership records delivering a cumulative reach of 229 million
Mumbai: India buttressed its credentials as the global cricketing nerve centre, with this year’s limited-overs home series against England drawing more eyeballs than ever for a bilateral engagement in the sport.
Viewership records soared in lockstep with the on-field exploits of Virat Kohli’s team that defeated England with consummate ease in all formats of the sport, riveting audiences to television sets across the country. Star Sports, the offici- al media rights holder for cricket in India, has said the one-day international and Twenty-20 series recorded the highest ratings for any bilateral cricket in the past five years.
The viewership data shared by the broadcaster suggested that the series clocked 29.5 million impressions, while it delivered a cumulative reach of 229 million viewers across Star Sports network, implying that every third individual across India watched the India-England ODI series on their television sets.
“Cricket outshines all formats of programming consumed by tele- vision audiences,” Nitin Kukreja, chief executive officer, sports at Star India, told ET. “We have seen continuous rise in cricket viewership over the past year.”
India is home to cricket’s richest league and has the biggest audience for a sport that is restricted largely to Commonwealth countries. While still described as a single-sport nation, India now hosts modern and well-funded leagues for sporting disciplines such as soccer, badminton, and hockey. Yet, cricket still dominates headline space in Indian mainstream media and brands routinely associate themselves with cricketing icons to sell products as diverse as insurance, cars, or soda.
One of the highlights of the IndiaEngland series was the 3rd ODI, which became the top rated programme across genres in the past 6 months across India. A media agency executive said that while the performance of the cricket team has certainly helped, Star Sports has pumped in huge money in marketing and production, resource allocation that has helped the broadcaster get more audiences.
As it was the first series in 2017, Star Sports started the campaign for it with a tongue-in-cheek take on the English team’s performance in the Test series. The creative showed how India dominated the Test series and is ready to take on England in the shorter format.
Kukreja believes that the campaign delivered on its promise with an action-packed series and record viewership numbers.
PTI One of the highlights was the 3rd ODI, that became the top rated programme across genres in the past 6 months