Friday, the 13th, might not be the auspicious date for a few, but it has given Ten Sports a good start for the Allianz Cup. With traditional cricket rivals India and Pakistan battling it out for the Cup, the beginning numbers have given the channel quite a high and the expectations from the cup going forward are on the same lines.
TAM Media Research shows that for the target CS 15 + in the all India market, the first day of the first Test match has delivered a rating of 2 and the second day has thrown a rating of 3, which further increases in the male TG. In regards to share, needless to say that Ten Sports goes back to being the leader in the sports genre at present, with its weekly shares doubling up in comparison to what was seen in the past few months.
For a Test match, these numbers are on the higher side. Stating this, Lodestar Media’s Nandini Dias said, “I think these numbers are much better than expectations. Normally for a male TG you see these kinds of numbers coming on for a Test, but at an all-adults level, these are excellent numbers.”
Another point to note is that, unlike, most other cricket matches, the Allianz Cup has been shown on only on Ten Sports, with only the highlights being shown on the DD channel. Experts feel that is another reason why the property has seen some high numbers.
Manish Porwal, Executive Director, Starcom, (West), said, “The numbers for an Indo-Pak series has to be good, at least when everything else is right about the match. The India team is performing well and so the audience interest would be retained. Also, the matches are being shown only on Ten Sports and so there is no audience split.”
The Allianz Cup is the first cricketing series of 2006, and the cricket has ended on a good note in 2005, with channels like DD Sports and Zee Sports seeing a significant increase in channel shares and leading the genre on cricket days. For Ten Sports, cricket has come in after a while, but airing the India-Pakistan series is bringing its benefits for the channel. In all, the expectations from the series going forward is also high.
“The expectations are on the same lines as any India-Pakistan match,” said Porwal, “The property is big for Ten Sports and they are focussing on it in terms of production and hence the extra bit to capture the audience interest is in place, too. Plus, India is competing with Pakistan after decent time gap – that’s another reason why the viewers are going to be glued for these matches.”
Dias added, “It’s not just about being an India-Pakistan match, we have seen a few of them not deliver too. But the marketing and the word-of-mouth around this series have been done effectively. An Imran Khan being quoted in the press saying, ‘I will back a particular country’ has helped in building momentum.”
The One Day Internationals (ODIs) are expected to rake in more ratings than the Test matches. The three Tests continue till February 2, 2006 and the ODIs begin on February 6. Dias believed that the second and third Tests might not see the same excitement as the first Test, but the enthusiasm would be back for the ODIs.