The report states the top two most-watched ODI matches between 2016 and 2018 were played between India and Pakistan.
Television viewership measurement body, the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) India released a new edition of its newsletter 'THiNK'. It analyses the impact of cricket on television viewership. "We have explored viewership at various angles like the format of the game, India matches, popular leagues and so on," BARC India states while introducing the report.
The study finds that sports viewership has risen from 43 billion impressions in 2016 to 51 billion in 2018, growing at a CAGR of 9 per cent. Though other sports like kabaddi, wrestling and football are gaining popularity with Indian audiences, according to the BARC India report, cricket is the "jewel in the sports viewership crown" with upwards of 65 per cent of viewership contribution year-on-year.
According to BARC India, cricket clocked 12.3 billion impressions (normalised at 30 minutes) in 2018 despite the absence of international tournaments in that year. In fact, 93 per cent of all sports viewers in 2018 watched cricket content. The top two most-watched ODI matches between 2016 and 2018 were played between India and Pakistan.
The report finds that programming played a vital role in growing the viewership. With over 89,000 hours, cricket programming is up by 79 per cent in 2018 over 2016.
In 2016, viewership was dominated by T20 matches while in 2017 it was the ODIs that got the maximum eyeballs. According to the report, 50 per cent of IPL viewers are less than 30 years of age. The tournament in 2019 clocked in 1.53 billion impressions, minus the final match viewership.
Marketers too love the battle between bat and ball. The report finds a 14 per cent growth in ads across all cricket content from 2016 to 2018. Ads during Indian matches grew at 38 per cent from 2016 to 2018. E-commerce has emerged as the dominant sector with a share of ads going up from 14 per cent in 2016 to 42 per cent in 2018. At the same time, smartphones and telecom ads have decreased from 24 per cent in 2016 to 11 per cent in 2018.
Here is the full report.