MUMBAI: As the final of the 2014 FIFA World Cup draws closer, fans across the world are waiting with bated breath along with the official broadcaster of the game: Sony Six as to which team will lift the much coveted trophy. Even in India, the tournament has been gathering a lot of buzz in the media and on social media.
It seems to be doing well in terms of TV viewership as well as football fans get red-eyed late into the night watching their favourites play. In the first week of the telecast of the World Cup, Sony Six had an all India reach of 12,469,000 while Sony Aath’s reach was 3,114,000. Combined, the two channels had a total reach of 14,792,000 in the C&S 4 plus years group. In the same week, while Six recorded a reach of 3,056,000 in the West Bengal market, Sony Aath’s reach was 3,043,000.
The second week proved to be even more fruitful for the channels with Sony Aath’s reach soaring to 5,589,000 in the West Bengal market. Within Kolkata, the reach of the Bengali channel was 2,561,000 for the first week while in the second week it rose to 4,427,000.
What is interesting to see is, while the channels reach increased in the first two weeks of the World Cup, TVTs have a different story to tell. So, amongst males in the C&S 15 plus age group, while Sony Aath recorded 173 TVTs in the West Bengal market in week one, it dropped to 154 TVTs in the second week. For Sony Six, the all India ratings in the same category were 613 TVTs in the first week, which saw a huge drop in the second week to 453 TVTs.
GroupM ESP national director Vinit Karnik says the drop in TVTs as the tournament progresses is no cause for concern as it has more to do with the number of matches per week decreasing as it enters the knock out phase and the various national teams start getting eliminated. “The drop has nothing to do with fans and their interest in the game,” he says.
There is other good news as well. As per week 26 of TAM TV ratings, Sony Aath has seen a rise in female viewership in the 15 plus age group for the World Cup in West Bengal. The channel recorded an average of 152 TVTs for the telecast of the matches 1-27. That is a four per cent increase over the 146 TVTs that ESPN Star Sports (the then official broadcaster) managed during the telecast of the 2010 World Cup.
Karnik adds, “As compared to the male viewership, this growth among female viewers can be attributed to young girls who are mainly herd followers of the game. They follow the game out of fan following (of players) or because of common peer interest”
On the whole, Sony Six (all India) and Sony Aath recorded 483 TVTs and 161 TVTs (combined total: 644 TVTs) for matches 1-27.
Telecasting most of the matches at prime time has definitely paid off, it appears. Especially if one looks at the numbers that the Germany vs Portugal match on 16 June (telecast time 9:30 pm) racked up: 1,514 TVTs on Sony Six and 393 TVTs on Sony Aath. Combined the two channels garnered 1,907 TVTs for the match, making it the highest rated one so far.