The Men in Blue have had a great season so far, first against the Kiwis, and now against England. And while the team scales new peaks, viewership of match telecast on TV is also zooming: making the first two India vs England matches the most watched ODI games since BARC India started rolling out data*. According to the data sourced from BARC India, while the 1st ODI garnered 26.7 million impressions, the 2nd ODI recorded 29.1 million impressions**.
There are some interesting trends that emerged from viewership pattern of the first two ODI’s. Not only was it the highest viewed ODI series, but the 2nd ODI which was aired on a Weekday garnered more viewership than the first ODI which was telecast on a weekend.
Ordinarily matches played on weekends are expected to give better ratings than those played on weekdays. However, BARC data shows that irrespective of whether they are played on a weekday or weekend.
Delving deeper we saw that the higher viewership for ODI-2 was driven by Rural India - while Rural-Urban share in viewership was 51%-49% for the first ODI, the 2nd ODI saw Rural share go up to 54%.
In terms of region share, maximum growth in viewership came from Odisha (68% increase), and Jharkhand (44% increase), which could be attributed to the fact that the match was being played in Odisha.
While maximum cricket viewership still comes from male audiences, there is rise in female interest in the game as well. In the 2nd ODI, while share of male viewership remained higher, we see a rise in female share. The first ODI was watched by 60% male and 40% female audiences. The 2nd ODI on the other hand was viewed by 59% male and 41% female audiences.
Although highest viewership for both ODIs came from 22-30 age group, it was the 15-21 age group (young adults) who drove higher viewership of ODI-2. This could be attributed to the fact that this age group in also “college goers” category, who had more free time in the afternoon to watch the match.
There is another interesting trend that we see emerging: while urban audiences preferred watching the live telecast on Star Sports, Rural India flocked to Doordarshan for its dose of cricket.
*Compared to other ODI matches played since October 2015).
**Across Star Sports 1 & 3 (SD+HD) and DD.