About two weeks into the ICC World Cup 2011, ratings for the first 10 matches of the series have been released by TAM Sports. So far, the top rated matches have been the India-Bangladesh opening match and the last of the TAM Week 9’11 bunch, the Pakistan-Sri Lanka match played on Saturday, February 26, which rated a 3.28 TVR in CS-4 plus all India markets.
As per the data, the tournament is seeing a viewership interest ranging from 1 to 1.5 plus TVR in All India markets in games that have strong teams and audience following such as England, Pakistan, Australia and Sri Lanka.
Matches such as Netherlands versus England, which left audiences at the edge of their seats until the last over, has rated the third highest, with a peak rating of 4.8 TVR, tying on an All India level with West Indies versus South Africa at 1.68 TVR. Another such a crowd pulling match was that between Bangladesh and Ireland that left audiences glued through the game, drawing a peak rating of 3.12 TVR.
In the next batch of highly viewed matches came in Australia versus Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka versus Canada, and Pakistan versus Kenya, scoring ratings of about 1.3 to1.5 TVR, despite some being on weekdays in the 2 pm time slot. Primetime scheduling of matches has not attracted substantial viewership as was the case with the Kenya-New Zealand or New Zealand-Australia matches, which have scored about 1 TVR.
As of February 26, 2011, among the ratings for the 10 matches of the tournament, the highest rated match has been the opening match of India versus Bangladesh at 7.47 TVR, peaking at 12.2 TVR.
Industry heads have been positive about the format this season and the strong points of the ICC World Cup 2011 have been highlighted by many industry watchers. For starters, many measures have been taken by the BCCI and ICC to ensure India’s presence late into the series. What are the strong points in the tournament? exchange4media spoke to media planners and buyers to decode the success formula chalked out this time...
Cut to Fit Formatting
Commenting on the tailor-made format cut out for the World Cup this year, Rajneesh Chaturvedi, National Director, MEC Access, said, “Non-India matches have always delivered low on numbers. It will be interesting to see how much these matches deliver this time around. Most of the matches are Day/ Night games and these would end in the prime time. The timing of the matches should help in the ratings specially the non-India ones.”
“There will be little interest during some of the non-India matches, but it isn’t as bad. Barring the last seven matches (quarters, semis & final) and six India matches, there are about eight good matches (likes of Sri Lanka versus Pakistan), about 18 average matches (likes of Bangladesh versus South Africa) and about 10 matches that involves the minnows. About 20 per cent matches are likely to be of minimum interest. If we get desired response from the 80 per cent matches, those 20 per cent will be averaged out,” reasoned Vidyadhar Kale, Client Leader, Maxus Mumbai.
“I would not term it as low, but lower than India matches,” said Sushma Jhaveri, Senior Vice President, Carat. According to her, there was no surprise about lower interest in non-India matches given the disparity in ratings. “The strength of tournament lies in the fact that it happens once in four years and in the Indian Sub-continent. Unlike the last World Cup, this time the matches are also on during primetime and then there is the Sachin factor,” she added.
Speaking to exchange4media, Sanjay Kailash, Executive Vice President, Advertising Sales and New Media, ESPN Software India, said, “Format change is one key game changer, but the event coming to India is the biggest factor that has given the thrust. Timings are more suited to Indian audiences, noise around the event has been huge and the choice of getting to see your country play live is a huge attraction. This year, many things have been revised with the number of groups being collapsed to two, matches scattered in such a manner with India matches almost till the end of the tournament and scheduled on weekends. The Indian team will also be well rested and the Day/ Night timing is well suited. India forms up to 85 per cent of cricket viewership worldwide and the BCCI and ICC boards are well aware of suiting the needs to the market. The format helps stronger teams come to quarter and semis; earlier, if you lose one match, it may be difficult to stay on in the tournament, whereas this time, consistent teams will remain till the end.”