ESPN Star Sports score big with Euro 2004

MUMBAI: Euro 2004, the biggest soccer tournament on the globe after the World Cup, has delivered big on the ratings for ESPN Star Sports (ESS).

ESS pulled out all the stops in marketing Euro 2004, its big ticket soccer property for the year, and it has paid off handsomely. The tourney has helped ESS gain more than a leg up over the competition.


Quoting Tam data the channel states that the average TVR (Prime Time 7 pm - 11 pm) from 12 June to 3 July 2004 of the tournament has been recorded at 0.84. Hindi commentary on the matches added to the popularity with great ratings in some of the Hindi speaking states like MP, UP and Gujarat, a company release says.

In this slot only the Hindi general entertainment channels Star Plus and Sony have recorded a better TVR at 3.29 and 0.94 respectively. That's not all. The 9:30 pm Euro matches performed better than even Set with an average TRP of 1.43, the release states.

Even without including the finals, the matches reached a cumulative audience of 182 million. By comparison Euro 2000 had a cumulative audience of only 27.8 million. 35 per cent of India's C&S audience sampled the event till 3 July 2004, adds the release.

13 out of the 30 live matches, until the semi-finals, registered a TRP of more than 1 on an All India basis. Due to the Hindi commentary Orissa and Maharashtra averaged 0.97 and 0.80 respectively for the given period. MP, which averaged 0.79 TVR for the period reached a peak of 4.3 TVR during the Portugal vs Holland semi-final on 31 June. Gujarat averaged 0.49; Punjab averaged 0.45. UP averaged 0.33 and peaked at 2.09 with the Denmark vs Switzerland match on 23 June.

Explaining the reasons for the high viewership for Euro 2004 ESS MD RC Venkateish was quoted as saying, "Such a surge in ratings for any European Championship is a first in India. ESS has driven the popularity of international soccer to this high level of viewer interest.

"This has come about by being strongly committed to the cause of driving all sports and making strong investments in soccer specifically, both in terms of world-class acquisitions and strong marketing investment. We will continue on this path of pushing the strong soccer programming like the English Premier league, Primera Liga and so on that we have on our channels."

From 22 May ESS had done lots of marketing around the event like painting the metros and trams with Euro images, posters, movie halls etc. Euro 2004 had been positioned as 'The biggest soccer battle'. The campaign emphasised the big teams and big players participating in the tournament. The entire promotion campaign brought to the fore the intense rivalries that existed between the competing European nations.

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