Television

Hero ISL sizzles as 170 million witness the league during opening week

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MUMBAI: The first edition of Hero Indian Super League (ISL) which has promised to open a new footballing movement in the country has achieved a new milestone for the sport during the opening week of the league.

75 million people witnessed the birth of the new football league on day one and 170 million in week one. According to Star, this is 12 times the FIFA World Cup 2014 opening day and double of opening week reach for FIFA World Cup 2014 in India. The weekly reach is over 20-30X of the other football leagues viewership in India said the channel which is also the promoter along with AIFF and IMG-Reliance.

These are aggregated reach numbers across eight channels that the network had telecast the league. These are (Star Sports 2 (English), Star Sports 3 (Hindi), Star Sports HD 2 (English), Star Gold (Hindi), Star Utsav (Hindi), Asianet Movies (Malayalam), Jalsha Movies (Bengali) and Suvarna Plus (Kannada). (Tam Panel CS4+; Extrapolated to all TV viewing universe).

The viewership numbers also performed well not just on television but also the web portal www.starsports.com.The website recorded 8,00,000 visits each for the first two days of the tournament which is 80 per cent of the average IPL viewership on www.starsports.com. No other non-cricketing event has seen such digital traction in India, Star said. The number of visitors to the site continued to grow as the league gained momentum and recorded five million visits over the opening week.

On digital media, Hero ISL saw 2.5 billion potential impressions so far. Within 24 hours of the grand kick off, the league dominated twitter trends in India with a perfect score of 10 out 10 topics on web and 15 out of 17 topics on mobile as the country reveled in the birth of a footballing nation. On Facebook, the league trended at number one in India with the hashtag #IndianSuperLeague.

Football Sports Development founding chairperson Nita Ambani said, “Right from the outset, Hero ISL has been geared towards one overarching objective— to develop football across the country in a systematic and holistic manner. The enthusiasm with which the Hero Indian Super league has been greeted, gives us the perfect platform from which to drive grassroots development of football in India.”

Star India CEO Uday Shankar added, “The early success of the Hero ISL has been phenomenal as millions of fans have thronged to watch the action – on television, on digital and in-stadia. This is a historic moment in the era of sports in India as fans embrace the global game and see a quality of football never witnessed before being played in India. This is the first step in a long journey of making India a footballing nation and providing the platform for future champions to emerge. The endeavour has been to create a world class tournament to global production standards with the ubiquitous reach and platform of the Star network.” He further thanked fans for their belief and said they would redouble their efforts to make it a spectacular tournament.

The Hero Indian Super League is being beamed across a global audience, expanding the reach of the most exciting new football league across five continents and in 23 languages. In India, the Hero ISL is being telecast live on eight channels across five languages on Star Sports 2 (English), Star Sports 3 (Hindi), Star Sports HD 2 (English), Star Gold (Hindi), Star Utsav (Hindi), Asianet Movies (Malayalam), Jalsha Movies (Bengali) and Suvarna Plus (Kannada). It is also available live on www.starsports.com.

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