Television

Pakraman 1, 2, 3... fatigue setting in?

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MUMBAI: One can have too much of a good thing! Even cricket is not immune to this phenomenon. The following data which deals with the India Pakistan series over the past three years shows why.

Back in 2004, when India toured Pakistan after a long time, there was a huge sense of anticipation. Some of the ODIs on Ten Sports alone got TVRs of 10 and 12. The deciding ODI when DD is factored in delivered a magnificent combined TVR of over 22.

After this one would have thought that the sky was the limit. Wrong! In 2005 when Pakitan came down the maximum rating that DD was able to get was 6.68 for the ODIs. The average ratings was 4.41. This time around even with India winning the series the average rating on Ten Sports was 5.50. Ten Sports got a high of 6.86 for the fourth ODI.

For those wondering whether the sharing of feed had an impact this may come as a surprise. DD would not have added much. Ten Sports in fact managed better ratings than DD for the ODIs. Viewers clearly prefer Ten Sports to DD though the coverage may be exactly the same. It may be recalled that Ten had shared its 'dirty' feed with DD.

For the week 12 -18 Feb 2006 c&s 4+ Tam data shows that Ten Sports' coverage of the ODIs got far better ratings than DD. In the Tam Top 100 c&s 4+ Ten Sports came in at number 11 and 12 for the third and fourth ODIs at a TVR of 6.9 and 6.8. The broadcaster also comes in at number 23.

DD meanwhile, came in at number 55 with a TVR of 2.7. Clearly viewers are not searching for the pubcaster on their remote control.
There is still the question of fatigue. An industry observer expressed some concern over this. After all ad rates are going up. However, he says that cricket will continue to attract a premium in terms of sponsorship as it has a passionate following that nothing else on television can match. He also points to the fact that any show once it has been on air will start experiencing fatigue. Perhaps with cricket the feeling is that it is immune.

The big question than is what kind of ratings would be delivered should India play a match with Pakistan during the Champions Trophy that takes place in September (telecast on Set Max and DD). Most observers believe the ratings will be better. That is because this is a unique event that does not happen too often (whatever may be the BCCI's views on the matter). The same logic holds true for the World Cup. Some food for thought at a time when the BCCI has decided to have a series against Australia practically every year from 2007.

If there is a constant though in all this it is the fact that Test matches ratings were low compared to ODIs even in 2004 and will probably stay that way. Of course the period of play is much longer.

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