Twenty20 WC ratings hit new lows

It’s been a mixed performance for the Twenty20 World Cup on Star Cricket. While ratings have been lower, the cumulative reach of the match telecast has gone up.

Tam data c&s4+ shows that the average rating for the first 16 matches was 1.8. In the previous editions, the average rating was 2.8 for the same period.

The India versus Australia Super Eight encounter on 7 May got a TVR of 4.7. The India versus South Africa match on 2 May got an average rating of 6.02. No non-India match has reached a TVR of 2. Last year, six non India matches crossed this mark.

The event so far has managed a cummulative reach of 85 million viewers. Last year it was 83 million. In the first year it was 66 million.

Reliance Communications is a sponsor with ESPN Star Sports (ESS) for this event. It is also an International Cricket Council (ICC) partner.

A company spokesperson though notes that the ratings were in line with what was expected. “We expected the India matches to have an average of 4.5- 5 TVR which has been the case. When we did the deal we factored in several things. One is that the Indian Premier League (IPL) finished only five days before the start of the World Cup. So there was bound to be some viewer fatigue which was not there last year.

“The other is that the telecast timing from the West Indies is not as good compared to England and South Africa. In addition this is the vacation season and people travel. We also did the deal expecting that India will only play five matches including three in the Super Eight. So we were protected. Had India progressed to the final it would have been a bonus for us. Having said that there is no doubt that India’s poor performance is having an impact. When the team does not do well many viewers switch off”.

In terms of the ratings for the semi finals and final, viewers could still tune in. That is because it is a World Cup and so carries weight. However, one cannot expect ratings to top 15 which is what happened the first year in 2007 when India beat Pakistan to win. Expect the final rations to be in the region of 4-4.5.

A media buyer says that clients look at different scenarios before doing deals. “There were those who felt that the price was worth it even if India did not progress. Clients also came in due to the perceived value of the tournament.”

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