Advanced Television

2019 Cricket World Cup most watched ICC event ever

September 17, 2019

The ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 was the most watched ICC event ever, with a global cumulative average audience of 1.6 billion for live coverage, a 38 per cent increase over the 2015 edition and a unique broadcast audience of 706 million viewers, demonstrating the phenomenal reach and power of live cricket around the world.

The event also recorded a 42 per cent increase in average time watched per unique viewer in comparison to the 2015 Men’s Cricket World Cup, according to BARB data.

Emphasising cricket’s continued appeal, the 706 million unique audience was a 22 per cent increase compared to that of Cricket World Cup 2015. Some 41 per cent of the audience were women, whilst 32 per cent of the 706 million were aged 18 to 34.

Fans watched the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup for a longer amount of time than ever before, with the event amassing a record 13.7 billion global viewing hours. This is a record for an ICC event, seeing an 18 per cent increase from the 2011 Cricket World Cup and 72 per cent increase from the 2015 event.

The most watched match of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 globally was India against Pakistan with 273 million unique viewers tuning into linear TV coverage with over another 50 million digital-only viewers.

ICC Chief Executive Manu Sawhney said: “These quite astounding numbers demonstrate the power of live cricket to connect and engage more deeply with diverse audiences around the world. The theatre and drama of live cricket is compelling and the added jeopardy of tournament cricket enables our sport to cut through and aggregate audiences like never before even in our increasingly fragmented world.”

This was the most widely available ICC event in history as more than 20,000 hours of live action, repeats and highlights coverage was carried by 25 broadcast partners across more than 200 territories.

Locally in participating countries the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 also demonstrated the scale cricket has to engage fans in a number of markets. In the host country, the tournament reached a unique audience of 24 million across live and highlights coverage with the final becoming the most watched game of cricket in the UK.

A unique audience of 15.4 million witnessed the most exciting final in Cricket World Cup history via Sky Sports, Sky, Channel 4 and More 4, peaking with 8.92 million unique viewers at 19:29 at the start of the historic Super Over. This is the highest ever peak for a cricket match on record for UK television audiences. The Final also received the highest viewing hours for a live cricket match on UK record with 36.6 million.

India led the way with the consumption of live matches on digital platforms with Hotstar reporting a world record for the highest ever concurrent viewership of a live stream with 25.3 million viewers during the India v New Zealand semifinal.

The most watched match in India was India against Pakistan which had a unique TV audience of 233 million from the 273 million unique viewers that had tuned in globally. The tournament reach within India was 545 million across TV and digital platforms.

In Australia, an overall audience of 6.1 million watched the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup with the most watched match the semifinal played between Australia and England with 2.1 million unique viewers.

There were more fans watching the 2019 edition compared to the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 in Pakistan with a 37 per cent increase, Bangladesh saw 35 per cent more fans watching and in Sri Lanka the figures were up 11 per cent on 2015, reaching a unique audience of over 100 million.

Aarti Dabas, ICC Head of Media Rights, Broadcast and Digital said: “More people are watching, more hours of cricket on different platforms than ever before. The consumption of live matches on digital platforms is evidence of fans watching live sport differently and wanting to be fully immersed in the sport and this is exciting time for cricket.”


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