Football delivers strong ratings for ESS in South East Asia

MUMBAI: If there is one area that sports broadcaster ESPN Star Sports (ESS) has a strong presence in South East Asia, it is football. The channel has announced that the English Premier League (EPL) is working well for it.

In South East Asia ESPN recorded a television rating of 11.5 for the Manchester United vs. Liverpool match telecast on 22 January 2006 in the Cable Male 15 + target group (TG). The match touched the top rating of 14.5.

ESS senior VP, Advertising Sales Charles Less said, ESPN Star Sports strong programming values, formidable team of pundits and interactive elements excite viewers, making them switch on to our networks to watch their favourite football matches and shows. Our remarkable presentation attracts viewers and leads to high ratings. As much as 45 per cent viewing time is added to the viewer-ship of football via viewing of non-live football programming like Nokia Football Crazy, Tiger First Edition and others on our networks.

ESS says that its marketing efforts has extended the fan-following for clubs beyond the usual top teams. South East Asia has been a traditional stronghold of Manchester United and Liverpool. Though the two clubs continue to rank high in popularity, new favourites in Wigan Athletic, Aston Villa, Middlesborough and other clubs are also emerging. Chelseas great performance in the previous season has also added a lot of fans for the club.

Viewership for late night matches has also been on the rise. Less adds, Football has no prime time. It is clear that football fans extend their television viewing time to accommodate the matches of their choice. The Uefa Champions League is a prime example of late night or early morning slot attracting high TV ratings. A Manchester United match played at 3:30 am in the morning rated a high 8.2 among the young upscale male TG, capturing a channel share of 83 per cent. Across the Male 15 + TG also the rating was a high of 3.2.

The Manchester United vs. Fulham match on 4 February 2006 got a 6 TVR and the Chelsea vs. Liverpool on 5 February got a TVR of 10.1. The highest rated match so far in this season though continues to be the Manchester United vs Chelsea game played on 6 November 2005, which registered a high of 12.6 TVR and peaked at 15.5 TVR.

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