While the ICC Champions Trophy has helped the sports genre to swell by 176 per cent in Week 23, the India-Pakistan match played on June 4, Sunday, became the most watched one day international in BARC’s time.
ICC Champions Trophy has huge mass following, considering that all of India follows the tournament for a common patriotic sentiment. To top it all, the expectation of an India versus Pakistan final match also pushed the adrenaline levels up for this season. The average Impressions for Weeks 10-22 (pre ICC Champions Trophy) was in the range of 566, while the viewership of the sports genre in Week 23 (the Champions Trophy first week) was 1565 Impressions (‘000s).
The India versus Pakistan match became the most watched match by garnering 47.454 million Impressions, while India versus Sri Lanka played on Thursday, June 8, clocked 33.965 million Impressions. Apart from these two matches, the other matches played in Week 23 averaged at about 5 million Impressions.
While the presence of the men in blue in the match obviously boosts viewership, the combination of Indian and Pakistani cricket teams playing head-on with each other is the biggest puller.
Having sensed this sensitivity, Star Sports had also launched a special marketing campaign called #SabseBadaMoh. The highly anticipated match between two nations is rated twice more than the last edition of ICC Champions Trophy 2013, as per the Star India communique.
According to the statement sent by Star India, “Every third individual tuned in for the first half of the marquee tournament. The match between the two nations attracted 201 mn* viewers, becoming the highest rated ODI match in BARC history. Also, an impressive 294 mn* viewers tuned in for the first half of the tournament.”
A Star India spokesperson said, “ICC Champions Trophy 2017 has been an impressive event in terms of scale, reach and following; and the India-Pakistan match set a new viewership record on our network making it the highest rated ODI match in BARC history. Fittingly for an event of such scale, we redefined the viewer experience via our all day programming and multi-language broadcast, which helped us set new benchmarks.”
If one considers that an India versus Pakistan can bring the non-sports to sports and non-TV watchers to TV, then the much-awaited finals between India and Pakistan held on June 18 is going to break many records.