Mumbai: The 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia continues to surpass expectations for football viewership in India in its third week. The tournament that was telecast live on Sony TEN 2, Sony TEN 3 and Sony ESPN channels and live streamed on SonyLIV app & website, garnered over 153 million viewers across 48 matches played in the first 16 days of the tournament that include live matches, wraparound shows, highlights, repeats and surround programming of FIFA World Cup.
The data reveals that 123.2 million viewers watched the World Cup on TV and over 30 million viewers live streamed it on SonyLIV app and website.
The 48-group stage matches of the FIFA WC 2018 has been watched live by 83.9 million viewers across India on the sports channels of Sony Pictures Networks (BARC, All India, CS2+, live matches, SPN Sports Network)
Over 60% of the overall TV reach came from HSM markets. 72.7 million viewers in the HSM markets sampled the coverage on our sports channels.(BARC, HSM, CS2+, LIVE matches + wraparound shows + highlights + repeats + surround programming of FIFA World Cup, SPN Sports Network)
West Bengal contributed 17.5 million viewers emerging as top market for live matches followed by Kerala (15.8 million), North East (9.3 million) and Maharashtra/ Goa (9.0 million).
Female viewership has contributed to 47% of the reach of the tournament reach till date (BARC, All India, CS2+, live matches, SPN Sports Network)
Local language feeds (Hindi + Malayalam + Bengali + Tamil + Telugu) have contributed to 47% of the overall viewership (BARC, All India, CS2+, LIVE matches with local language feed, SPN Sports Network)
In terms of Regional commentary 8.0 million viewers in Kerala were sampling Malayalam commentary and 7.0 million viewers in West Bengal sampled Bengali commentary.
Rajesh Kaul, President, Distribution and Sports Business, SPN India said, “Our regional commentary accounted for 46% of the overall viewership which shows a deep penetration and high impact that the football tournament has made with our viewers. Our strategy of engaging viewers and catering to their convenience with local language feeds has helped us expand the market and reach out to a wider fan base.”
Interest runs high for the tournament in rural markets, with 42% of the total reach coming from rural India and 51.5 million viewers in rural markets across India have sampled FIFA WC 2018 television coverage. (BARC, All India Rural, CS2+, LIVE matches+wraparound shows+highlights+repeats+surround programming of FIFA World Cup, SPN Sports Network)