In terms of the entire series, the numbers that Asia Cup has delivered vary drastically with the match. Needless to say, only the India matches threw up some numbers. An interesting aspect of this tournament was the dual feed on the television - with English commentary on ESPN and Hindi on STAR Sports. When the matches were aired simultaneously on both channels, the English feed showed a better performance than the Hindi.
Comparing the figures of the matches that were shown on both the channels, it is seen that the Indo-Pak match on July 25 delivered 5.61 for ESPN and 4.6 for STAR Sports. Showing a similar trend, the India-Sri Lanka match on July 27, grossed a 4.87 on ESPN and 3.51 on STAR Sports.
As for the other matches, India-Bangladesh on July 21, too threw up 2.14 for ESPN and India-UAE on July 16, gave 2.92 to STAR Sports. While no other match has given numbers worth talking about for ESPN, for STAR Sports, India-Sri Lanka on July 28, turned out to be a good show with a figure of 5.55.
Speaking on these numbers, Pradeep Iyengar, Vice President, Carat Media, expressed, "On the face of it, these are fine numbers. However, with the kind of investment that cricket is demanding today, it may not be worthwhile in the long run."
Echoing a similar opinion as far as the numbers are concerned, Manish Porwal, General Manager (Investments and New Initiatives), Starcom said, "The numbers are not too encouraging or discouraging, they are in tandem with what was expected."
Sharing more on the experiment of a dual feed, Porwal pointed out, "If we take the example of the India-Sri Lanka matches, it is obvious that there is an increase in the audience. But to get the numbers with two channels and DD airing the same matches at the same time is good. It shows that somewhere the two-channel feed in different languages help in attracting more audience."
On his part, Iyengar said, "The experiment with dual feed seems to be interesting and has paid off to some extent but it is still too early to comment." Speaking on cricket as a property in general, he added, "Increasingly, trends indicate that cricket has to be strategically used for high top-of-the-mind recall and tactical campaigns and launches."
(TAM Media Research's ratings are calculated on the target C&S 4+ in the all India market)