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15-20% of total WC viewership for SonyLiv was female

Sony claims to have surpassed Euro 16 numbers in the first couple of days.

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MUMBAI: FIFA World Cup (WC) 2018 has surpassed the expectation of Sony Pictures Networks India's digital arm, SonyLiv, by miles in terms of viewership numbers and brand associations. It had just 15 brands on board in the first week but completed the event with a total of 36.

The matches falling into India's primetime slot may have worked well in its favour giving it 70 million online viewers. Surprisingly, 15-20 per cent of viewership was contributed by female fans and the remaining by male supporters.

SPN head-digital business Uday Sodhi noticed some interesting things in this WC. “Firstly, India has become a big football nation globally on digital. Secondly, in the first couple of days of the tournament, we crossed the numbers of entire Euro 16. We have seen a huge growth in terms of advertiser and the approach of brands to digital advertising.” In Euro 16, Sony had just five to seven brands.

Sodhi believes that football has finally arrived in India. The second big event after Olympics garnered eyeballs from Kerala, Bengal, Pune, Ahemdabad and Lucknow apart from the metro cities. “In terms of traffic and concurrency, we are among the top two platforms in Asia Pacific and Japan, according to Akamai,” he added.

“The overall complexity that we were handling was very high because of six language feeds, two streams, paid and free feed (with five minutes delay). On an average, a viewer spent close to 15-16 minutes per match and the finals registered 1.5-2 million concurrent users on the digital platform.”

There were a few hiccoughs. The first match of the WC didn’t go as planned. Instead of a five-minute delay on the ad-supported feed, there was a slightly longer delay of 10-15 minutes. But it picked and surged forward.

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