MUMBAI: Cricket fever can never be out of season. The India vs West Indies T20 matches saw 121 million viewers tune in to watch the live telecasts on 27 and 29 August. It was almost as massive as the IPL viewership this year, according to ZAPR TV viewership data.
The preceding test matches in the same series garnered a huge viewership of 70 million, despite popular knowledge that test cricket has taken a backseat with the game’s gradual evolution to more fast-paced formats. Interestingly, a large portion of these viewers have also watched previous cricket tournaments. Do these viewers make up an audience loyal to cricket, regardless of the format in which the game is played?
The first match in the test series received the highest viewership with 22 million viewers tuned in to watch the live telecast on 21 July.
In all, 97 million watched the first T20 match played on 27 August. The telecast experienced a peak in viewership between 10pm and 11pm as the Indian team forfeited a win by just a single run.
Of the individuals who watched the India vs West Indies matches, 86 per cent of them watched the T20 World Cup, and 83 per cent also watched the IPL matches this year. While T20 matches generally have higher viewership, the India vs Zimbabwe tour which consisted of three ODI matches also garnered significant viewership.
The same viewers also followed different kinds of sports on television: 61.8 per cent of individuals who watched the India vs West Indies series watched the recent Rio 2016 Olympics.37.1 per cent of them watched the Pro-Kabaddi League and 15.2 per cent watched the famous football tournament UEFA Euro 2016.
In addition to general interest for sports content, the audience who is format-neutral and loyal to a particular sport are highly valuable. These individuals are most likely to have high affinity towards sport stars, and brands associated with that particular sport, making it conducive for brands to effectively engage with them