MAX debunks DD-Nimbus' claims on cricket ratings

MUMBAI: MAX executive vice president and business head Rajat Jain has lashed out at the viewership claims made earlier this week by DD-Nimbus for the Champions Trophy tournament. Jain questioned the claims of the DD-Nimbus combine, stating that apples and oranges were being compared.

He made references to the earlier releases that MAX had sent out to the media on the conclusion of the Championship Trophy to prove his point, saying that more analysis was being done by his team to give the real picture.

The earlier MAX release in October had stated that the average rating of India matches on DD was 1.4, compared to MAX's 8.6. 

The average rating of the lone non-India match on DD was 1, compared to MAX's 4.4 for the semi final involving Sri Lanka and Australia, it had claimed.

Jain also claimed that the extremely successful performance of MAX during the Champion's Trophy had vindicated the ratings that had propelled MAX to the top of the channel viewership heap in the week ended 28 September 2002. 

He added that the statistics pertaining to the finals of the Champions Trophy had broken several myths. 

The release had then said that MAX had made inroads in all TV homes, where Doordarshan usually has the numbers. The match shown on DD garnered a TRP of 9.52 on 29 September while the next day's play got the pubcaster a TRP of 8.75. MAX, on the other hand, managed a TRP of 8.42 in all TV homes for play on 29 September and a TRP of 7.56 for play the following day.

TAM analysis made at that time also showed that MAX had matched the pubcaster's TVRs of 6.5 in SEC ABC 4+ (all India) related to the simulcast of the five matches. 

The release had also added that the exciting India-England tie on 22 September helped MAX rank number one in the ratings stake with a TRP of 11.83, while Kyunkii..., the reigning number one, stayed stable at number two with a TRP of 10.2. Kahaani..., the next favourite, followed a close third with a TRP of 10.19. 

MAX, in fact, had bagged four of the top ten spots in the all-India C&S 4+ category surveyed by TAM, a feat unachieved by the channel till then. The India-England match also figured at number five, while the India-South Africa match bagged the eighth and tenth spot, the release had added then.

Interestingly, the channel's programming around cricket, Extraaa Innings, was at the 17th and 18th spot, proving that while a section of the media had trashed Ruby Bhatia and the "masala" that the channel had drawn up, the viewers were quite willing to lap it all up.

Master Blaster, Bajaj Boxer, Total Knockout and Super Fours, were the other cricket-based shows that registered their presence in the Top 100.

In all, the channel had managed to corner 13 of the top 100 spots for shows in cable and satellite households in the country. MAX also managed entry into all TV households in the country, with the India-England match debuting at number 18. Seven of MAX's shows featured in the Top 100 of the all-TV households category. 

The channel had also mentioned that MAX's cumulative reach had ballooned to 90 million C&S household individuals during the tournament then.

MAX officials affirm that if the Champions Trophy is seen as a trial run for the World Cup in March 2003 and if the Indian team performs as well as it did then, the channel is likely do well once again.

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