Soccer World Cup kicks in 35% more viewers over 2006

MUMBAI: In India, the traffic for viewing the soccer World Cup is increasing despite less goals being scored.

A record 19.7 million television viewers tuned in to watch the first two days of the tournament, a 35 per cent jump over the earlier World Cup four years back.
ESPN, the official broadcaster of the World Cup, rang up large gains as the popularity of the game stayed particularly strong in Assam, West Bengal and Kerala. While it took five matches for the World Cup to get a cummulative reach of 14.6 million in 2006, this time around it took just three matches to cross that threshold.

The opening game between South Africa and Mexico got a cummulative reach of 10.8 million this time, according to TV ratings agency Tam. In 2006, the inaugural match between Germany and Costa Rica had fetched a cummulative reach of 9 million.
The average national rating through the first five matches from 11 June, however, dropped marginally to a TVR of 1, compared to a TVR of 1.3 from the similar span of the 2006 World Cup.

The telecast of the Argentina-Nigeria draw won the highest ratings with a TVR 1.6. The opening match between South Africa and Mexico had an average national rating of 1.5.

Football continues to have a male skew audience. Among males above 15 years (C&S, SEC A and B), the first five matches of the 2010 edition averaged a rating of 1.9 and reached 6.6 million viewers. The Argentina-Nigeria draw got a rating of 2.16 in this target audience while the opening game fetched a TVR of 2.26.
In the metros, the matches got an average TVR of 1.53. For the Argentina-Nigeria contest, the rating stood at 2.63 while the opening match on 11 June 2010 got a TVR of 2.22.

The higest ratings came from Assam where the first five matches fetched an average TVR of 5.6. Kerala earned a TVR of 4.2, followed by West Bengal (4.1 TVR).

The top advertisers were Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Essar, Nokia, Hero Honda Motors and Samsung. The top brands were Nokia E72, Vodafone Cellular Phone Service, Hero Honda Karizma ZMR, Airtel Cellular Phone Service and Samsung Corby TV.

Analysts same the audience for the football World Cup will swell in the coming days as the tournament builds up more live drama and popular teams like Brazil enter the playing arena.

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