THEY SAID it was inevitable — in Germany the Cup would clink with the mug, and beer would flow in Berlin's streets. What trendwatchers missed was a replay that is happending in pubs and homes in Delhi and Mumbai.
A remote in one hand and brew in the other — that is the general picture. Even as TAM figures showed that television viewing in Indian metros rose by 175 per cent on match days, beer figures too were bubbling up. In Delhi and Mumbai, the sale rose by 38 per cent.
It began with the kick-off in Munich. With the first game, beer sales jumped 10-12 per cent. And then came the knock-out stage (at World Cup) and the sale of liquid gold rose. It grew by a maximum 38 per cent over the last weekend in soccer-less May.
But in June, they drank to Ronaldinho, said cheers to Crespo and drowned sorrows for Drogba. And ‘they’ don't mean just men. More women are watching the Cup this time: a rise of 19 per cent.
Overall, the 2006 World Cup's viewership rose by 83 per cent over the 2002 one.
With this, soccer took over as the most watched sporting event in India (FIFA ranking: 117) pushing cricket to second spot. That is sporting spirit, uh, spirits.