In the C&S 4+ six-metro market, as per data from TAM Sports, the India-Pakistan match played at Mohali on Thursday, March 31, 2011, scored a match rating of 22.07 TRP, with a peak rating of 36.22 TRPs. This is easily the highest rated match of the ICC World Cup 2011 so far…
Then, on Saturday, April 2 2011, India played against Sri Lanka in a nail biting, high pressure match and brought home the World Cup, 28 years after first winning it. The nation was watching Team India battle it out and Indians all over the world celebrated. But will this reflect on the ratings scoreboard? Which of the two matches will rank as the highest and most watched match of the tournament? The verdict will be out soon when the All-India numbers are released, but until then, exchange4media spoke to media planners and buyers to gauge their thoughts on the matter…
Anamika Mehta, Chief Operating Officer, Lodestar UM, remarked, “Considering all the hype, frenzy and buzz around the finals with enough of the country watching and more, the finals may be pegged to rate higher than the India-Pakistan match. If compared to 2003, the India-Pakistan matched played rated about 24 TRP, so on a six-metro market level, a 22-odd looks slightly less. In terms of number of people who watched the match, you may expect the Finals to be higher.”
Sudha Natrajan, Deputy CEO, Lintas Media Group said that she expected the ratings of the two matches to be similar. “The match against Pakistan was one of high interest, but the final is a final. The level of interest was huge with the entire country coming to a standstill. Personally, I think the Finals may rate slightly higher, but the India-Pakistan match should have rated higher than what it has in the first place. The match rating for the Finals may be marginally higher, though not significantly different.”
Shailesh Velandy of Mudra Max is of the opinion that the Final match will be the highest rated match of the tournament. “The Finals were scheduled on a weekend, played in India, the anticipation of Sachin’s century and team against whom it was being played, Sri Lanka, are all factors that will make it rate higher,” he added.
There was the small initial patch in the game when there was a huge chance and noise by audiences tuning off, but later joining in as the sentiment grew positive. Will this affect the overall average match rating? Velandy said, “This is the case with all exciting matches where audiences leave and then tune back in. There will be high peak ratings, but the overall reach will be marginally higher.”
Satyanarayana Kornepati, Vice President and Communications Partner at Media Direction, too, felt that the India-Pakistan match TVR would be higher than the Finals. The reason, according to him, being – the hype created and the interest generated between India & Pakistan was much greater and it was a deciding match for India to come to finals. “The match between India & Pakistan has always been quite interesting because of two strong teams facing each other and, it is assured that the match will be quite challenging and nail-biting. I suppose, there is some sort of emotional over-tones at play. Despite it being a holiday, the finals match may not get higher TVR than the India-Pakistan match at all-India level. India-Sri Lanka is not perceived as tough and challenging as India-Pakistan,” he added.
Adding insight, he explained, “One of the reasons cricket does not fetch high ratings in this country is that audiences switch channels during a match due to their individual superstitions and beliefs. Thus, stickiness comes down due to a fleeting audience. In the finals, the important aspect was to see if India wins. We did not bat first, our fielding was good initially, but then it fell short with about 18 runs given in the last over going against the estimated total of 250-260 runs, closing at 274. The target was definitely not an easy one and we started off badly, losing te first wicket for zero runs in the second ball and Sachin not scoring high. Superstition comes into play at these junctures, affecting viewership. While people are interested to keep track on the score, they keep switching the channels on and off. Consequently, you see fluctuations in ratings and the overall match average rating. With India and Pakistan playing, we batted first and people wanted to see every ball to see where we end in scoring and how do we restrict Pakistan from reaching the target.”
In a similar vein, Saurabh Tyagi, Director, Starcom , noted, “The India-Sri Lanka match might have slightly better average ratings for the entire match as it was a Saturday and a holiday. The India-Pakistan match may have higher peak ratings, but these are guesstimates. Both matches will surpass the viewership expectations that people had and will set new milestones in terms of ratings.”