Cricket accounts for 93% of sports content consumption in India: BARC

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Cricket with 12.3 billion impressions has contributed to 93% of the total sports content consumed by television audience in India. The magical number is achieved even when there was no major international cricket competition.

A BARC India report ‘Cricket In India: It’s not just a game’ has revealed that 93% of the 766 million viewers who sampled sports content in 2018 have watched cricket. Sports viewership has grown from 43 billion impressions in 2016 to 51 billion impressions in 2018, growing at a CAGR of 9%. Cricket registered 12.3 billion impressions.

It further stated that cricket has gained 65% of viewership year-on-year even while other sports like Kabaddi, Wrestling, Football are gaining popularity.

Courtesy: BARC India

Youth in the 15-30year age group has consumed 35% of LIVE cricket content I 2019. The share of NCCS AB cricket viewers is also up to 56% for the first 21 weeks of 2019. Women with 342 million viewers accounted for 48% of cricket audience.

Similarly, there is an increase for women’s cricket content. The Women’s World Cup Final between India & England had a viewership of 39 million impressions. Indian Premier League average watch-time per viewer has increased from 28 to 34 in three years between 2016 and 2018. IPL has also grown in terms of total viewers.

With broadcasters exploring cricket content beyond sports genre, footprint for the sport has gone beyond the sports channels even though the numbers for non-sports channels have reportedly declined, primarily also for the fact that with the regional sports channels launch by Star Sports IPL content has moved out of non-sports channels in regional markets.

“The last 3 years have seen a steady increase in cricket content on sports channels. Apart from international cricket matches to the national favourite IPL, viewers today have a wide array of choice. From domestic competitions like the Ranji Trophy, the Duleep Trophy, the Vijaya Hazare Trophy etc to International T20 Leagues like Big Bash League, Mzansi Super League, Pakistan Super League, etc to popular celebrity leagues we can see it all on the small screen,” the report stated.

Also Read: BARC India strengthens partnerships and product portfolio

The report also reveales that cricket content on television is approaching the 1 million hour mark annually, with 89000 hours being clocked in 2018. Non–sports channels carried 4700 hours of cricket content in 2016 and upwards of 5400 hours in 2018. Some news channels have the same cricket programme titles running over the last 3 years.

Courtesy: BARC India

The report adds that the T20 World Cup in 2016 and Champions Trophy in 2017 contributed 21% and 14% to the total cricket viewership of the year respectively. The absence of any major ICC event results in 28% drop in the international cricket viewing for 2018 whereas IPL made up for some of this deficit with 19% year on year growth in 2018.

Live cricket content contributed to a minority share to (22% in 2016, 15% in 2017 and 16% in 2018) cricket content telecast. But the report informed that in absolute terms, live cricket has grown by 30% from 10882 hours in 2016 to 14180 hours in 2018.

Courtesy: BARC India

India matches account for >50% airtime of all international matches telecast on television. However, the viewership lens shows the clear preference of Indian viewers for India matches accounting for 78%, 92% and 91% in 2016, 2017 and 2018 respectively.

Courtesy: BARC India

The report states that IPL dominates sports viewership in Indian homes during the league period. The 2018 IPL Season has accounted for the 40% cricket viewership share.

It also stated that the return of CSK in 2018 saw viewership shifts in South markets like Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh/Telangana and Karnataka. The top 5 markets have grown from 55% audience share in 2016 to 58% in 2018.

Courtesy: BARC India

There has been a 14% growth in the number of ads on Live telecast of International matches in 2018 vis-à-vis 2017. Ads in India Matches have witnessed 18% growth & 17% growth in 2017 and 2018 respectively. E-commerce has emerged as the dominant sector with share of ads going up from 14% in 2016 to 42% in 2018. Smartphones & telecom ads have decreased from 24% in 2016 to 11% in 2018.

Smartphones & telecom dominate with 24% of ads in 2018. Share of e-commerce ads increased from 7% in 2016 to 17% in 2018. 2017 however, saw a peak with 29% of ads from e-commerce. Auto sector ads move southwards: from 14% in 2016 to 8% in 2018. 246 brands from 95 categories were advertised in this period. 158 brands were advertised on live as well as match highlights.

Ad volumes grew over 100% in IPL-12 vis-à-vis IPL-11. 246 brands from 95 categories were advertised in this period. 158 brands were advertised on live as well as match highlights.

Courtesy: BARC India

Top 10 categories contributed to 52% of the ads telecast. Further, services led by e-commerce brands have made a comeback as the top sector this season with 24% ads. Smartphones ads by 5 advertisers clocked 14.2% of all ads and emerge as the top category this IPL season followed by Auto-Cars with 5.7% of ads.

The report also stated that domestic cricket is growing on the back of T20.

Also Read: BARC India to launch integrated TV Plus measurement service


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