Team In­dia’s Clash with English Grabs Most Eye­balls

In­dia vs Eng­land ODI se­ries breaks view­er­ship records de­liv­er­ing a cu­mu­la­tive reach of 229 mil­lion

The Economic Times - - Brands & Companies - Gau­rav.Laghate@ times­group.com

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

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