Sports genre audience ratings have taken a major hit in the absence of LIVE content as the Coronavirus pandemic, which has taken nearly 200 countries under its grip worldwide, is resulting in the cancellation of sports events.
Broadcast Audience Research Council of India (BARC) ratings for week 11 (March 14 to 20) for sports genre in India reveal up to 40% collapse in the gross impressions for the top five most-watched channels for the week.
Star Sports First has emerged on the top as majority of sports audience has tuned in to watch the repeat shows and the highlights from the Indian Premier League 2019 season.
|COVID-19 LOCKDOWN TAKES TOLL ON SPORTS BROADCAST|
|Week 10: Top 5 Sports Channels|
|1.||Star Sports First||96,942,000|
|2.||Star Sports 1 Hindi||46,878,000|
|3.||Sony Ten 1||31,287,000|
|4.||Sony Ten 2||25,530,000|
|5.||Star Sports 1 Tamil||17,160,000|
|*All India (U+R): NCCS All : 2+ individuals/ratings
Period – March 14-20, 2020
Most-watched shows’ list for the week reveals that maximum audiences have tuned in to Star Sports First to watch the Indian Premier League action from the previous year. Reigning champions’ Mumbai Indians and Royals Challengers Bangalore are the two most-followed teams for
Among the five matches figuring in the most-watched sports genre shows’ list for the week, there are three games involving Mumbai Indians and four matches having RCB. The list of the repeat of most-watched five matches from IPL features MI vs RCB; RCB vs MI; MI vs CSK; RCB vs CSK and RCB vs KKR in the order of their mention.
|IPL 2019 HIGHLIGHTS MOST-WATCHED SPORTS CONTENT|
|WEEK 10: Most Watched Sports Shows|
|1||IPL 2019: MI vs RCB||Star Sports First||1,457,000|
|2||IPL 2019: RCB vs MI||Star Sports First||1,112,000,|
|3||IPL 2019: MI vs CSK||Star Sports First||1,101,000|
|4||IPL 2019: RCB vs CSK||Star Sports First||1,095,000|
|5||IPL 2019: RCB vs KKR||Star Sports First||996,000|
|*All India (U+R): NCCS All : 2+ individuals/ratings period : March 14-20, 2020|
The number are bound to fall further as there will not be many matches of significant interest. Even though Star Sports may benefit for being the ICC broadcast partner as the world governing body for cricket has opened its archives to television partners for filling the slots created be the cancellation of the LIVE games.
Besides the absence of LIVE content, anxiety about the global pandemic is also affecting the sports audience numbers and more and more people are turning to news and analysis of updates on the virus spread and its affects.