The on going test series between India and West Indies might be one sided on field but the TV telecast rights tussle has been a close one with ESS (ESPN Star Sports) airing the highlights along side fighting the court battle.
Ratings for the first two test matches, the Live telecast on DD as well as the highlights on ESS show how the one sided series has attracted lower viewer interest than normal. Also, the fact that the matches are played during day time in India fewer number of people get to watch it since there is no prime time viewing element involved.
According to data released by TAM Media, ratings for the Live telecast on DD show a high of 1.77 TVR across all markets during the first match and the 2nd test match got peak ratings of 1.9%.
1st Test Match, 9th - 13th October, 2002
||L/T EXIDE TEST1 IND/WI
||H/L BE.OF THE DAY IND\WI
2nd Test Match, 9th - 13th October, 2002
||L/T EXIDE TEST IND/WI
||H/L BE.OF THE DAY IND/WI
Source: TAM Data, Programme performance, All India, C&S 4+ Yrs
ESS's strategy to air highlights of the series has got it some audience. With ratings for the test matches reaching 0.3% in specific time bands the channel has been able to draw in a number of advertisers.
If we go back just a year, the India - South Africa test series got ratings between 2-3%. Given the fact that both DD Sports and ESS are satellite channels, the comparable figures for DD this time are a little lower. West Indies being a weaker opposition than SA combined with the fact that the South Africa series was aired during prime time might have lead to the lower then normal ratings.