The 2006 FIFA World Cup has the nation spellbound every night since the kick-off on June 9, 2006, bringing cheer to broadcaster ESPN-STAR Sports camp. The opening match between Germany and Costa Rica on June 9, 2006 garnered an impressive TVR of 3.43 as per TAM data (TG CS, Males, 15+, SEC ABC, All-India).
Even the India-West Indies cricket series has had to take a backseat to the mega football event. The Test matches have managed to get a TVR of 2.8 on a competing channel.
Elated over the ratings, R C Venkateish, Managing Director, ESPN Software India Pvt Ltd, said, “The ratings that have come in are phenomenal. Being a once-in-four-years tournament and given the magnitude of the FIFA World Cup, we did expect good ratings, but this has completely taken us by surprise.”
“Soccer viewership has been on a high with Indians taking to soccer properties like the English Premier League and UEFA Champions, and the sport and star following has resulted in more interest in the World Cup. We are confident that as the World Cup progresses to the knockout phase, with big teams like Brazil, Germany, Argentina and England being involved, the ratings will create new benchmarks,” added Venkateish.
The average ratings for the first two days of the tournament on June 9 and 10 were 2.3 across India with even the pre- and post-match analysis registering a high of 1.01 for the first two days. Markets like Kolkata and the rest of West Bengal, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu did exceptionally well for the inaugural match of the FIFA World Cup 2006. The match between Germany and Costa Rica did a rating of 22 in Kolkata and 17.8 in Kerala.
Venkateish remarked, “We reckon that this edition of the FIFA World Cup will break viewership records in India. The convenient timings of the matches, with some matches starting as early as 6:30 PM in the evening, have added to the number of eyeballs for the World Cup. Also, our special production and programming initiatives like the special Hindi feed for traditional markets, pre- and post-match shows with Harsha Bhogle and soccer pundits Gerry Armstrong and Steve McMahon, have helped in building up the passion. We expect to be the leader in the country in terms of channel share during the telecast of the FIFA World Cup.”
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