A total of 576 million Indians (TAM Panel CS4, extrapolated to the universe using a standard conversion factor) watched the first 39 matches of the International Cricket Council (ICC) world cup, 2015, during the league stage, making it the most-watched television event in the country.
This put the tournament’s reach in the league stages ahead of the T20 cricket tournament Indian Premier League’s 2014’s 573 million, sources said.
The world cup started on February 14 and is being held in Australia and New Zealand. It is being telecast in India on eight channels across the STAR India network. It is available in Hindi, English, Bengali, Malayalam, Tamil, and Kannada.
The highest-rated league match this year was the India-Pakistan one on February 15, with a reach of 288 million and a viewership rating of 14.8 television viewer rating, or TVR (11.9 on STAR India and 2.9 on DD National). This was followed by the India-West Indies one, with a reach of 262 million and ratings of 13.1 TVR. The India-South Africa match was a close third, with a reach of 257 million and 12.9 TVR.
The language feed strategy received overwhelming response from Indian viewers, with Hindi and regional feeds accounting for 75 per cent of the viewership for the 32 matches, telecast in six languages. Hindi and English were followed by Tamil as the preferred language.
A STAR spokesperson said, “Team India is on a glory run and passionate fans have rallied around their heroes irrespective of time zones and schedules. With the team geared for the knockout phase, this world cup is set to be the biggest sporting spectacle in the country.”
India’s performance and advance in the tournament has also helped rake in advertisement sales money for STAR India.
The highest selling ad spot (10 seconds) of the tournament was in the India-Pakistan match, at Rs 25 lakh. Rates for the India league matches after the win against South Africa also rode up, touching Rs 18 lakh in some cases. The India-Australia semi-final is expected to cost last-minute advertisers Rs 18-22 lakh (depending on the number of spots and languages). The high-definition feed was sold out right up to the final after the India-South Africa tie itself.
STAR had introduced a host of broadcast innovations and firsts, powered by a marketing blitzkrieg for the ICC
Cup, a ‘Cup for all.’ From the first-ever multilingual broadcast of the World Cup in six languages to a global first telecast of cricket in 4k, STAR put in place an unprecedented plan to make this World Cup bigger and better.
The biggest ever commentary panel featured 13 World Cup captains, 20 World Cup winners and 26 World Cup semi-finalists. It was assembled to bring in the live action from the ongoing Cup.
The broadcast was bolstered by new-look graphics and in-depth analytics. STAR had also rolled out a disruptive campaign on India’s World Cup journey, which went beyond cricket on the field and leveraged fan passion in a new way. The ‘Mauka’ campaign met with great response online and on social media, with about 28 million views online. On social media, there has been a record 700,000 unique authors, driving 1,900,000 conversations so far. Cconversations around the World Cup on twitter have been the most engaging for two weeks in a row.