- Cricket makes up for 93% of the total Sports viewership
- The game continues to be famous among the youth with 35% fans in 15-30 age group
- IPL 2019 recorded 1.58 billion impressions even before the final
As cliché as it sounds, Cricket is not a sport in India, it is a religion. From a 4-year old kid, who can hardly pronounce a player’s name to a 70-year old uncle, who has seen Kapil Dev lift the World Cup, everyone is a Cricket fanatic in India. And it was statistically proved by BARC’s (Broadcast Audience Research Council) recent reports.
Cricket is obviously the most famous sport in India by some margin, as it made up for 93% of the sports content viewed in the country in 2018. According to BARC’s report, 766 million people sampled sports content in 2018 but 12.3 billion impressions were recorded for Cricket.
The game continues to be famous amongst the people of 15-30 age group, as they contributed 35% to the total live viewership of cricket in 2019. Women’s interest in cricket is also at a peak with 48% cricket viewers in 2018. That is 342 million viewers in total.
The India vs England game of the 2017 Women’s World Cup final had a viewership of 39 million impressions. But the top two most-watched matches between 2016 and 2018 were unsurprisingly played between arch-rivals India and Pakistan.
Cricket delivered 89,000 hours of programming on TV in 2018 – up by 79% in comparison with 2016. But the Cricket programming is not just restricted to sports channels. Non-sports channels delivered 5,400 hours of cricket content in 2018, 700 more than 2016.
IPL continues to be the gold mine for both BCCI and TV broadcasters with constant growth in the viewership. The average watch time per viewer in 2018 was 34 minutes, an improvement in 2016’s 28 minutes. In the recently concluded IPL season, 1.58 billion impressions were recorded even before the final of the tournament. The T20 League is obviously famous amongst the youth, with 50% of the viewership coming from less than 30-year old fans.
75% of the IPL viewership comes from just eight regions – Maharashtra/Goa, Andhra Pradesh/Telangana, Tamil Nadu/Pondicherry, Gujarat/Daman & Diu, West Bengal, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh/Uttarakhand and Madhya Pradesh. 81% of the fans also tuned in to watch IPL games in Hindi and regional languages.
The growth in Cricket’s viewership has also helped the ad industry. There was 14% growth in ads in 2018, in comparison with 2016.