MS Dhoni and his boys scored many firsts in bringing home cricket's biggest prize after 28 years on Saturday. India’s history-defying World Cup win can add another record to the list — a TV viewership of 67.6 million.
Overnight TV viewership measurement agency aMap’s data shows that a record 67.6 million viewers in cable and satellite TV homes watched the final against Sri Lanka, beating the 67.3-million mark for the high-voltage semi-final against Pakistan.
aMap’s ratings are derived from the cable and satellite TV universe — which has a 100 million-plus household subscriber base — that it samples in urban India. The reach doesn’t include 31 million homes covered by the direct-to-home broadcasters and those watching the game in multiplexes, restaurants and pubs, say market research industry officials.
Still beyond, there are terrestrial television homes covered by Doordarshan (DD1 showed the final), which reaches more than 90% of the country’s 1.21 billion people. If these are taken into account, a much larger number would emerge. But the event saw 64% of the urban cable homes tuning in for the final, which shows the influence of a single event in an industry increasingly getting fragmented along the lines of genres and languages.
aMap said the television viewership rating (TVR) of the final -watched on DD1, Star Cricket and Star Sports - was 13.6%, the highest for the tournament. The India-Pakistan clash recorded an average 11.74% TVR.
TVR represents the share of viewers watching a particular programme at a given slot in time as against a share of those watching any programme during that time span. It takes into account the number of people watching as well as the time spent. The final match covered eight hours.
“Saturday’s viewership broke all records. The match was on for an average of four hours in every household that watched it. Ratings peaked towards the end of the match when India held the World Cup,” said Jniti Shah, vice-president at aMap.
Industry officials said multiplexes across India had freed up around 35-40% of capacity for the final and ran house full.
The viewership for the Lanka clash was higher than for any World Cup match or IPL match ever viewed in India, said Shah.