Football in India has seen a spike of 137% in the past five years ever since the launch of the Indian Super League. Over 64 percent of youth in the country are interested in football among other sports in 2019 as compared to only 27 percent in 2013.
An independent study conducted by YouGov SportsIndex has revealed how the ISL has fuelled fans interest in Indian football as India’s premier domestic league is attracting more eyeballs than the FIFA World Cup Finals.
The report, referring to Broadcast Audience Result Council television audience data, has revealed that the ISL has a greater audience base in India than the English Premier League, 2018 FIFA World Cup and the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup combined.
More than 270 million Indian fans had reportedly tune in to watch the ISL on television whereas the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia was only consumed by 111 million Indian fans.
The 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup, held in India two years ago, had recorded 68 million audience on TV while the English Premier League grabs only 18 million Indian eyeballs.
In the past six years, football has gained massive ground in the country despite cricket being the undisputed number one sport. Football is now the second-most favourite sport among urban teenagers with 32.3 percent aspiring to be one, behind cricket, which is a preferable career choice for 41.1 percent.
The sixth season of ISL has seen a 15.36 percent growth in impressions as the FSDL-organised league has had an average TVT of 32 Lakhs in the first twenty games of the season as compared to 27 lakhs at the same stage in season 2018-19, BARC states.