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World Cup Football makes a kicking début

13-June-2002
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World Cup Football makes a kicking début

Curse your stars and your judgment if you ducked the World Cup Football proposal. If the TAM TVRs for Opening Ceremony and first four matches are any indicator, this World Cup Football is scorcher.

Before we give you out the story, answer a simple question. What in your opinion would be 9-city average ratings for a broad demographic segment like Male/ Sec ABC/ 15-44 Yrs in CS homes? Most planners that we spoke with had a 0.5 - 0.75% range. But, hold your breath! The average first 4 match rating is as much as 2.6%, with football crazy Calcutta registering an average of 20%. The Opening Ceremony garnered a decent 1.6%.

While the overall averages may be exciting, there is a bit of a dampener. The viewership 9-city performance of 2.6% is heavily dependent on two not so important marketing centers – Calcutta and Cochin. The average first 4 match rating in Calcutta is 20% and 8% in Cochin. Key centers like Delhi and Mumbai have a much lower, yet respectable, 0.7% and 0.3% TVRs. And given that Mumbai and Delhi have jointly close to 50% audience weight (in 9 city average), the ratings have come off considerably.

Chart 1: A Cracking opener

Match telecast on Ten Sports.
TAM TVRs for Male/ Sec ABC/ 15-44 Yrs/ CS HHs

What has helped these high ratings is a weekend schedule. The World Cup was kicked off at 3 PM on May 31, a Friday. Three matches were scheduled on Saturday afternoon.

Chart 2: Day 2 sustains the momentum

Match telecast on Ten Sports.
TAM TVRs for Male/ Sec ABC/ 15-44 Yrs/ CS HHs

Media Buyers are mighty pleased with this performance of World Cup and Ten Sports. Given the flux in the distribution of Ten Sports right till the nth hour, they were basically betting on their gut. Detractor also argued that Football is a niche sport and not a ‘religion’ like cricket. Audiences, at least for the first four matches, have proved them wrong. For a quick perspective, average viewership of the third ODI (telecast on ESPN, May 29) featuring India and West Indies is 7.8%. This is about three times the World Cup Football viewership. The average cost however would be more than 20 times!

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