Hero ISL reports viewership of 429 million across the nation

MUMBAI: Hero Indian Super League (ISL), a joint venture by IMG-Reliance and Star India has created history in India with a record- breaking reach on television, in stadia and digital.  

As per the TAM data, an aggregate of 429 million viewers from across the nation tuned in to watch the inaugural season of Hero ISL live on their televisions screens, making it the second most-watched sport in the country after cricket. Over 1.5 million fans watched it on ground, in-stadia, making it the fourth most attended football league in the world. Stadia were packed close to full capacity with attendance averaging about 26,000 fans per match. 

The league cut across demographic boundaries and captured the imagination of a diverse fanbase, with women and children accounting for 57 per cent of the 429 million viewers.

The Hero ISL was telecast live on eight channels in five different languages cross the Star India network. The league was also aired on which had more than 32 million visits recorded during the tournament, surpassing the online audience even for the FIFA World Cup 2014. Across web, mobile and app, recorded over 17 million online video views through the course of the tournament. The final match played between Kerala Blasters FC & Atletico de Kolkata recorded 1.6 million online visits. 

Talking about the league’s success, Star India CEO Uday Shankar said, “Launched with the aim of helping football take root among the country’s masses, the Hero ISL was backed by an aggressive broadcast plan to bring an unparalleled football experience to the viewers. Our intent was to awaken the passion of football and create the birth of a footballing nation. The resultant success of the Hero ISL justifies it as the right platform for tapping the passion for the sport that exists in India. As we gear for a bigger and better second edition, I would like to thank our partners IMG- Reliance, AIFF, all the club owners and more than 400 million fans for making this dream a reality.”

On 20 December 2014, the Hero ISL finale, held at DY Patil Stadium in Mumbai, had about 37,000 fans in attendance. The crowning of the first Hero ISL league champion was also watched by 57 million viewers, 2.4x of the reach of 2014 FIFA World Cup final, culminating the over two months long league. The final, with an average TVT of 1418 among M 15+ ABC, registered as the highest rated match of the tournament, 11 per cent higher than the opening match of the tournament. In the social media front, Hero ISL created a total of 2.2 million conversations with more than 275,000 unique authors, generating 11 billion potential impressions. #ISLfinal trended at #2 worldwide on Twitter, and Atletico de Kolkata at #1 in India on Facebook on the day of the finale.

According to IMG-Reliance Chairperson Nita M Ambani, the success of Hero ISL is a realisation of the dream of a billion including Indians to experience and embrace the beauty of football. She said, “The beautiful game has successfully captured the imagination of people of India and we have experienced the joy of watching the birth of a footballing nation. Hero ISL has been geared towards one overarching objective— to develop football across the country in a systematic and holistic manner, and its success will spur the development of Indian football. I extend my gratitude to the people of India for their love and support.”

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