World Twenty20 championship is the new serial killer on Indian television. TV screens were on fire across the country as Team India pulled one surprise after another and got ratings to surge against all laws of gravity.
Boosted by India's surprise win over South Africa in the Super 8, practically two-thirds of India was glued to its TV sets during the semi-final between India and Australia. The match touched a high TVR of 23.2, with an average rating as high as 17.9. During the duration of the match, the channel share of ESPN and STAR Cricket combined was a whopping 63 per cent [Source: TAM, TG: CS, Males, 15+, SEC ABC (All India)]. The TVRs for the splendid final between India and Pakistan are not yet out.
In agencyfaqs!'s last story on the T-20 tournament, various media planners had predicted TVRs for India matches on the higher side of 15. "Sure, the ratings are along expected lines. As India moved up the ladder, the ratings climbed even further. India playing and winning against stronger teams (England, South Africa, Australia and Pakistan) during the later stages of the tournament resulted in such high ratings," says Mona Jain, executive vice-president, ZenithOptimedia.
Matches featuring India were the real winners as far as TVRs go. India's five matches against Pakistan (league match), New Zealand, England, South Africa (Super 8) and Australia (S/F) managed an average TVR of nearly 14, while overall, the tournament achieved an average TV rating of 5.4 (till the semi-finals) [Source: TAM, TG: CS, Males, 15+, SEC ABC (All India)].
Non-India matches haven't fared as well as India matches, but by industry standards, the TVRs weren't negligible. The semi-final between Pakistan and New Zealand recorded a TVR of 4.5, the Pakistan-Sri Lanka match scored 4.5, the New Zealand-South Africa match scored 3.4, and the Sri Lanka-Bangladesh match scored 3.3. In comparison India's cumulative TVRs against Pakistan, New Zealand, England, SA and Australia were 12, 12.5, 14, 14.7 and 17.9, respectively [Source: TAM, TG: CS, Males, 15+, SEC ABC (All India)].
"The figures show the popularity of games featuring India. There's a lot of anticipation for an India match. India matches versus other matches are like comparing apples and oranges. One reason why the ICC World Cup didn't fare well was because India exited at a very early stage," says Jain.
The ratings of the ICC World Twenty20 have thrown up other surprises as well. The India-Australia semi-final match achieved a TV rating of 12.8 among the female TG. This is the highest rated programme across the Top 3 Hindi mass channels in 2007 [Source: TAM, TG: CS, Females, 15+, SEC ABC (All India)].
"This is one pleasant data from the planner's point of view. Cricket is often considered a male sport, but with such high female TVRs, surely the game has risen above gender, caste and creed," says Anita Nayyar, CEO, MPG India, analysing the data for agencyfaqs!
With the ratings for the India-Pakistan final not yet out, expect T-20 to coax another rabbit out of the TVR hat. NEO seems to be smiling all the way to the bank now with ad rates hitting a high of Rs 2.10 lakh for the India-Australia series on Neo and Rs 3 lakh on Neo and DD.