If TV ratings for India-Pakistan matches are an indicator, then the ongoing Champions Trophy is bad news for one-day cricket.
Overnight TV rating agency aMAP said Saturday’s big game on Star Cricket, which India lost, earned television rating points (TRPs) — a measure of the popularity of a programme — of just 2.6.
India vs Australia
Aussies were 234/4 in 42.3 overs when rain stopped play
England vs New Zealand
Live on ESPN at 5.45 pm Indian Standard Time
That’s low compared to the average 4 for India’s games at the Twenty20 World Cup in June.
The India-Sri Lanka-New Zealand one-day tri-series early this month got a TRP of under 3, despite India returning from a two-month-plus break, while the IPL-II games on Set Max averaged over 4. Champions Trophy’s first week rated under 2.
“The popularity of the 50 over format in metros is less than expected,” said aMAP CEO Amit Varma. “There is a clear trend showing a rise in the popularity of T20s as compared to ODIs. But it would be too early to mark it as the death of one-dayers.”
While an ESPN spokesperson would not comment on declining ODI viewership, merely saying, “It is too early to pass judgement,” two former India cricketers did.
“The TRP drop could be due to time difference,” V.B. Chandrasekhar said. “With South Africa three-and-a-half hours behind, you don’t expect people to stay up after Gautam Gambhir got out.”
Former India coach Anshuman Gaekwad said while he didn’t think one-day cricket was losing its sheen, the drop in popularity could be because of “India’s inconsistency in the 50-over format”.
(Inputs from G Krishnan)