The ICC Champion's Cricket programming on SET MAX might have raised hackles with the purists, but the average cricket lover continues to patronize the game. The initial matches, including India-Zimbabwe encounter, have recorded a healthy viewership.
The TAM ratings available for the first three matches are pretty much in line with the expectations and past trends. The India-Zimbabwe match recorded 6.5% TVRs, amongst all CS homes, 4+ audience. The series opener - Sri Lanka Vs Pakistan - also recorded a healthy viewership of 2.9%. The other 'non India' match between South Africa and West Indies had a lower viewership of 1.7% TVRs.
How does this initial viewership compare with past trends? Early days yet, but it does compare favorably. The average ratings for 6 India matches, excluding the final, in the recently concluded NatWest Series (telecast on ESPN) was 5.2%. Refer chart below.
Chart: How Cricket on MAX stacks up with ESPN
TG: CS 4+ Yrs
Market: India Surveyed
What is interesting to note it the average duration of 'Live' telecast? While the average duration for the three matches of ICC Champions Trophy is 453 minutes, the corresponding duration for the NatWest matches (telecast on ESPN) was 406 minutes. So MAX has to sustain the viewership for about an hour more.
So while the initial viewership data is encouraging, Sundays performance when Indian team annihilated England, should bring cheers at MAX and advertisers.