Test ratings come under cloud in India-Sri Lanka series

MUMBAI: Television viewership for Test cricket is dropping as younger audiences switch over to the more fast paced T20 format. An indication of that has come from the ratings of the first two India-Sri Lanka Test matches which fetched an average TVR of 0.66, lower than the last time these two nations contested in a similar version of the game.

A total of 52 million viewers tuned in for the first two Test matches of The Micromax Cup between India and Sri Lanka telecast on Ten Sports.
The Jaypee Cup series between the two sides, on the other hand, attracted 65 million viewers and got an average TVR of 1.22 on Neo Cricket last year, according to Tam data for C&S 4+.

In 2008, the Idea Cup series between the two sides had an average TVR of 0.84 on Ten Sports and drew in 50 million viewers.

Among the 15+ TG, the 2010 series got an average TVR of 0.76 compared to 1.3 TVR for last year‘s series and 0.92 in 2008.
Media observers say viewers are gravitating towards the T20 format. Besides, rain interrupted the first match while the second Test concluded in a tame draw. Another factor could be that the last series was played in India, thus generating a higher interest factor.

The India versus Australia and India versus South Africa Test Series later this year should give an idea of where the oldest format of the game is going. An early obituary of Test cricket would have to wait till we get the ratings of the third Test match that India won in an exciting contest. 
Meanwhile, Ten Sports‘ ad revenue target of Rs 1.1 billion from the India-Sri Lanka series could fall short due to rain and an uninteresting second Test match (partially offset by Sachin Tendulkar‘s innings), according to media buyers. But the ODI tri-series is still to go and the launch of Ten Cricket will coincide with this series.

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