Sports channels reverse viewership loss but still weak in week 6 of BARC

It fell marginally by over 2 per cent in the current week as compared to previous.

MUMBAI: The viewership of overall sports channels continued to decline as per data published by Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) India. Sports broadcasters fell marginally by over 2 per cent in week six (8-14 February) as compared to week five (1-7 February).

The decrease in eyeballs is perhaps due to the sluggish performance of team India in cricket that is broadcast on Star Sports and the dull week for Sony Sports with few international live matches of combat sports that has failed to live up to the expectations of the viewers.

Leading the race at number one spot, Star Sports 1 Hindi has slightly improved its individual performance compared to the last week. The channel soared by over 7 per cent to 331536 weekly impressions in week six as against 308715 impressions in week five of BARC.

Star India has the exclusive right to broadcast all the Board Cricket Council of India cricket matches on all of its platforms across genres – men and women.

Retaining its position at number two on the chart, the government-owned DD Sports has somehow reversed its viewership count to positive. The channel grew by over 5 per cent to 77532 weekly impressions than the previous week impressions of 73671 in week five.

Despite having the broadcasting privilege of team India’s cricket matches on Free Dish DD Sports, it failed to increase its viewership count. However, the difference in viewership pattern between number one and two positions is around 77 per cent.

India tour to New Zealand has come to the last leg of two test matches between both the teams. India had won the five-match T20 series with a clean sweep but faced defeat in the 50-over format against the Kiwis.

Of the three-series one day international (ODI), two of them were played in the week six of BARC. The guest failed to retain its winning streak in ODI as same as T20 against the host, and which probably upset viewers and eventually got low eyeballs on television screens of a sports broadcaster.

Except the top two positions in the top five channels list, the other two channels of Star India – Star Sports First and Star Sports 3 – have declined substantially by over 31 per cent and 27 per cent to 46244 and 34947 weekly impressions in week six as compared to 67311 and 48033 in week five respectively.

Both channels -- Star Sports First and Star Sports 3 – have been ranked at the third and fourth positions respectively in the list.

Post the conclusion of Australian Open 2020, the viewership of Sony Pictures Sports Network’s Sony Ten 1 has continued to slump. This week, the channel's viewership fell by near 14 per cent to 31204 weekly impressions as against 36202 impressions in week five.

The only channel from Sony sports cluster to feature in the list fell by over 50 per cent this week as compared to week four (25-31 January) during which it had the ongoing grand slam tournament.

The Sony sports cluster owns the majority of international sports property right to broadcast on its various platforms such as Tennis, Football, Ultimate Fighting Championship and World Wrestling Entertainment to name a few. The next big event the broadcaster will televise is UEFA: Champions League – Round of 16 that has already begun from 19 February. It also has Australia tour of South Africa from 21 February.

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