India has a long history of sports, a big diversity of people in India love their sport. The way we consume sports today has evolved a lot from a time when consuming sports meant being glued to the television for that all-important score update.
BARC’s 2nd edition of the popular and exhaustive report, What India Watched 2019, gives an insight sport India loves and some important viewership trends and facts.
2019 saw a growth of 17%in terms of viewing minutes over 2018. The genre contributed 3.2% of total TV viewership in 2019, which was the highest over the last four years. 2019 witnessed major sporting events in the country such as ICC Cricket World Cup, Indian Premiere League, South Africa tour of India among others.
The first ever Pink Ball Test Match played in India was also a big draw; Day 1 of the Test Match was had 43 million people glued to it which totaled to 2 billion viewing minutes. It doesn’t end here; the same Test match also garnered the highest viewership for the first day of any Test Match played over 2018-19.
Beyond cricket, the most watched sports according to BARC on TV are Kabbadi, Wrestling and Football. 71% of Kabbadi viewership came from rural India, while Wrestling got 52% of its viewership from Urban India and Football got more than half of its viewership from Kerala(21%), Assam/ NorthEast /Sikkim(20%) and West Bengal (11%).
Sports Telecast: Share of Duration Vs Share of Viewership
Cricket rightly occupies the maximum airtime on Television with 44% share while Soccer on the 2nd spot with 20% and Kabbadi on the 3rd spot with 9%.
Preferences of various sports
Indians have a craze for Television. On any given day, in any house, all you can see is either a bunch watching the “soap” they cannot afford to miss or the “Sports” they would give their life for.As per the report, there is a strong craze for cricket over other sports for viewers in Bihar and Jharkand with 88% of all Sports Channel Viewership in the market coming from cricket. In Assam there is a fair share of viewership that comes from Soccer- 20%, Wrestling-15% and Mixed Martial Arts-4%. Kabbadi on the other hand, connects well with viewers in Andhra Pradesh/Telangana(15%), Karnataka(11%) and Madhya Pradesh/Chhattisgarh(11%).
Sports has always been one of the purest forms of entertainment. Unscripted, exciting and full of drama, it connects the audience at an emotional level that most forms of entertainment can’t. In India each and every sport is been celebrated with equal joy and enthusiasm, from cricket to soccer and football, sports can easily summarize people as everyone enjoy sports with everyone and that shows teamwork and solidarity.