As per BARC, 803 million viewers tuned in to Sports on TV in 2023, 98% of which was attributed to cricket events.
2023 has been a watershed year for television, as major cricket events witnessed a record-breaking spree for TV viewership in India. It all started with IPL 2023 as Star Sports clocked 500+ million viewers on television for the very first time, with a peak concurrency of 6.4 crore for the IPL finals. In terms of TV Ratings, the tournament ratings grew a massive 30% among urban male audiences that watched IPL on Pay TV compared to IPL 2022. Another defining metric that reasserted the power of IPL on TV for advertisers was the HD viewership, clocking 101 million viewers in the season – drawing the highest ever HD reach across all seasons with ~4X growth over 2022.
IPL on TV was just the beginning, all major cricket events in 2023 asserted TV Supremacy:
- World Test Championship Final – The WTC Final clocked a mammoth reach of 135 million including DD, becoming the most watched Test match on television, as per BARC.
- Asia Cup – The precursor to the World Cup became the most watched edition on TV driving a reach of 275 million on Star Sports while the tournament’s final witnessed a 34% growth in TVR, making it the highest rated match in the history of Asia Cups.
- World Cup – The recently concluded Cricket World Cup saw Star Sports create history. The tournament clocked a TV Reach of 518 million, the highest ever for an ODI World Cup. The World Cup final witnessed its highest ever peak concurrency of 13 Crore and the match rated 154% higher than the previous World Cup final drawing the highest ever rating for a World Cup Match.
IPL 2024 on television set to unlock a scale never-seen-before.
Live sports led by Cricket has been the driving force for the growth of Pay TV households in India. During IPL 2022, Pay TV households had grown to 165 million from 163 million in 2020, and during the recently concluded World Cup, Pay TV homes witnessed a big leap to 173 million households. All key viewership metrics including Cumulative Reach, HD Reach, TV Ratings, Consumption, Peak and Average concurrency have surpassed previous highs. The record-breaking viewership numbers also came at a time when both IPL 2023 and Cricket World Cup were streamed free on digital devices, showcasing the massive expanse of cricket viewership in India. As per industry experts, the broadcaster is already in the process of taking their efforts up by a few notches in order to provide an unmatched sports viewing experience for its viewers, and innovation and impact at scale for advertisers. IPL 2024 could be a goldmine for advertisers and with the macroeconomic situation improving, there could be no reason brands would give the megaevent a miss on the biggest platform.