The recently concluded series between India and SA had more than its share of ups and downs. The Mike Denness controversy not only saw the Indian team’s fortunes dipping but also advertisers losing, as viewers deserted cricket in the 3rd ‘Unofficial’ Test match. The third match, which was being touted as the decider of the series after India managed a respectable draw in the second, turned out to be not so profitable for the advertisers as viewer interest dipped. But as the spots had been bought well in advance they could just sit and watch as the Indian team and their spots got plundered.
A look at the Avg. TVRs (TG: Males, 9 cities, 15-44 yrs, Sec ABC) for the 3 test matches played reveals that the first 2 matches attracted audience in huge numbers and in fact after the Indian players were slapped with penalties on the last day of the second test, TVR touched 3.3%, the second highest for any day in the series. The first match too
delivered an Avg TRP of around 3 % even as India got plundered in 4 days.
But when Mike Denness struck, the audience deserted cricket despite the channel and the programmers tried to keep the enthusiasm going. The 3rd match delivered Avg TVRs of just 1.7 % over 5 days, a drop of more than 40%. In fact a look at the GRPs added for each of the test match shows that the first match, which lasted all of 4 days, delivered more GRPs than the 3rd one, which, though unofficial, went on for 5 days. Clearly, advertisers who bought spots on the last match lost a lot of audience, courtesy Mr Denness.