The ongoing ICC Champions Trophy in South Africa has already seen India crashing out, failing to reach the semi-finals. India’s cricket viewers weren’t expecting that when they tuned into either DD1 or Star Cricket to watch the first India match in the series on Saturday, September 26.
A look at TAM Peoplemeter data on all-India cable television viewership between September 20 and 26, finds the India-Pakistan match leading the top 10 most viewed programmes on television list, with a five per cent viewership rating. This was significant since usually, soaps rule the weekly list.
During the current Championship Trophy, besides Star Cricket which will be telecasting the entire series, DD1 was to also telecast all the matches India played. A look at the Indian viewership interest in the three matches that India played last week would need to take into account their numbers on both channels.
According to the television viewership data provided by aMap, the overnight television viewership rating agency, 1.92 crore people (four-plus years) watched the India-Pak match on DD1. Of these, 96 lakh had access to cable & satellite (C&S) connection but preferred to watch the match on DD1 rather than on Star Cricket. Star Cricket drew 1.36 crore viewers for the match.
The amount of time viewers (15-plus years) stayed with the matches was the highest for the India-Pak match, averaging 53.8 minutes on DD1 and 49.6 minutes on Star Cricket. After that, interest waned – the India-Australia match on Monday, September 28, got suspended midway because of rains. For this match, DD1 saw a 43.5 minutes viewing average, and Star Cricket a 37.7 minutes average. DD1’s viewership for this match was 1.75 crore people (84 lakh with C&S access) and Star Cricket had a viewership of 1.25 crore people.
For India’s match with West Indies on Wednesday, September 30, viewer interest was the lowest at 1.6 crore (72 lakh with C&S access) viewers on DD1, and 71 lakh viewers on Star Cricket. Average time spent also dipped, at 31.2 minutes on DD1 and 22 minutes on Star Cricket.
Amit Varma, CEO, aMap, points out that by the time the India-West Indies played and India won, viewers knew that it wouldn’t take the Indian team to the semi-finals since India had also needed Pakistan to defeat Australia in an earlier match the same day. “Besides, India was expected to beat West Indies,” he says.
In that case, surely there must have been higher viewership interest in the Pakistan-Australia match before the India-West Indies match. aMap’s data shows that 86 lakh people watched the match on Star Cricket. DD1 didn’t show it since it did not feature India. Interestingly, as Varma points out, average time spent on this match was higher at 26 minutes than on the India-West Indies match. “The viewership’s excitement factor was higher for the Pakistan-Australia match than for the India-West Indies match,” he says.
When compared with the ICC World Cup T20 series played in England in June when India’s performance had been disappointing, some interesting things show up. DD1’s viewership for the World Cup T20 series, on the five India matches, was lower overall than for the Champions Trophy. However, the time spent was higher on the WC T20’s India matches.
On Star Cricket, both viewership numbers as well as time spent on each India match were higher than on the Champion’s Trophy matches.
Another thing was that more viewers with access to cable & satellite connection watched Star Cricket than DD1. However, it is worth noting that DD1 did have viewership numbers that were large enough not to be shrugged off for both the series.