The crisp twenty-over format, coupled with the fact that India had won the inaugural cup, had made the ICC T20 World Cup a hot property in India. However, the 2010 performance of the Indian cricket team has not been the best, and needless to say reflects in the ratings as well.
The opening match played on May 1, 2010, where India played Afghanistan, rated 3.98 TVR for the C&S 4+ in the all India market. India’s match against South Africa on May 2, 2010 got a 6.2 TVR. The third match, where Indian played Australia on May 7, 2010 scored 4.7 TVR. As is known, the series is being aired on ESPN STAR, and the India matches are also shown on DD 1. The mentioned ratings are the cumulative numbers of the two channels, implying that the individual channel rating is lesser.
While in themselves, these are not low numbers, but from the standpoint of being ICC T20 World Cup matches, where India has played, these are lower than some of the numbers that have been seen previously.
Even though India had entered the Super Eight, its poor performance and subsequent exit has disappointed media observers as well. Also, the non-India matches have thrown very low numbers. Some attribute the low ratings to even the evening timing of 6.44 pm, when the match telecast had begun. Since the IPL has just ended with its matches rating in the vicinity of 6+ TVR, 7+ TVR, and the final rating as high as 12+ TVR, the ICC T20 World Cup numbers are looking even lower in comparison. Media analysts, however, caution that the IPL, given the difference of its format, cannot be compared with a property like ICC World Cup.
Rajneesh Chaturvedi, National Director, MEC Access pointed out, “It would be unfair to compare T20 World Cup to IPL. In fact, when India’s performance, as Team India that is, is good, then the viewer interest in the tournament per se increases. So, you see numbers come in not just for India specific matches but other matches as well.”
There are some more India matches, the ratings of which would be released next week. But it is clear that the media analysts haven’t pinned very high hopes on these matches now. The bigger question that many are discussing is the frequency of these big ticket cricket properties, and the value that they bring to advertisers. Watch this space to follow some of the views on this debate.