Nothing, not Bollywood movies, not vivid variety shows, not even Comedy Nights with Kapil, comes close to capturing Indian viewers’ attention like a game of cricket.
The local derby match between India and Pakistan on February 15th, part of the ICC Cricket World Cup tournament, managed to deliver 288 million viewers (a TVR of 14.8) aged 15 and over. The game received a 76 per cent share of its viewership from Hindi viewers and 24 per cent watching the English language feed on Star TV’s channels.
Another 25 million recorded the game, claimed to be the highest-ever for a sports event on a single day anywhere in the world.
Social media also received a huge boost from the game, generating 3 billion impressions, with 10/10 trends on Twitter Web and 15/15 on Twitter Mobile.
Star India CEO Uday Shankar said, “Nothing is bigger than the ICC Cricket World Cup and the Indian fans have shown their unflinching faith and passionate following for Team India as they began their World Cup campaign with a bang. As the country’s leading broadcaster, our efforts have been to showcase the best of cricket, have wider coverage, offer multiple languages, and take the sport deeper by reinventing the viewer experience. With a host of innovations, we are committed to make this edition of the ICC Cricket World Cup the biggest ever.”
Those ‘innovations’ helped the hype build, and even though only the most well-heeled Indians own 4K displays, the fact that this was the first-ever global broadcast of a long-form 4K sports event helped create extra interest.