Max says cricket thrusts it ahead of Star Plus at top in channel share

MUMBAI: The Indian team may be giving its fans ulcers by its up and down displays at the ongoing ICC World Cup 2003 but viewers just cannot seem to drag themselves away from the action if the TAM ratings data generated from the first week's action is anything to go by.

Max, quoting TAM Media data, says it has displaced Star Plus at the top in terms of all-India channel share with 16.8 per cent as against 11.1 per cent for the flagship channel of the Star Network.

SET India CEO Kunal Dasgupta was quoted in a company release as saying: "Twenty of the Top 100 programs of the week were from MAX. There were four MAX programs in the Top 20, 12 in the Top 50, and 20 in the Top 100. In the Top programs category of the same week, the Live India-Australia match was placed 3rd. Apart from this, MAX captured one more position with the India-Holland match amongst the Top 10 shows."

MAX business head Rajat Jain was also quoted in the same release as saying: "From the seven matches played till 15 February 2003, India matches pegged a high average of 8.6 despite India's unimpressive showing in the first week. Similarly, the non-India matches too pegged a very impressive average rating of 4.2, which is an unheard of figure for non-India Cricket matches telecast in the past. The average of all seven matches was an excellent 5.5."

The city which MAXed in terms of ratings was sports-crazy Kolkata which had an average rating of 10.3 for all seven matches, 20.2 for the India-Australia match and 17.6 for the India-Holland encounter.

"Similarly, Mumbai too pegged a good high of 10-plus for both, the India-Australia and the India-Holland matches," said Jain, adding, "Hyderabad, Delhi and Bangalore too pegged highs of 9-plus for the India-Holland match, while Chennai gave us a high of 7.2 for the same," Jain said.

Extraa Innings, MAX's wrap-around programming, meanwhile, averaged 1.4 for all matches and 2 for the India matches. Looks as if Charu Sharma, Mandira Bedi and gang have something to crow about. And the critics be damned.

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