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Last Updated : Dec 02, 2019 06:14 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

The Pink Ball Test: Did the hype translate into better viewership?

India secured victory in both the games but television viewership figures were dismal.

The 'Pink Ball' Test between India and Pakistan at the Eden Garden in Kolkata, created a lot of buzz. But did this attention translate into good views on television? Probably not.

A look at the television viewership data collated by BARC (Broadcast Audience Research Council) shows that it is limited-overs cricket that is invoking more consumer interest than the traditional Test matches.

During week 46, which is between November 9 to 15, the 3rd T20 International between India and Bangladesh on Star Sports 1 Hindi recorded 1,59,80,000 impressions.

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A week later - between November 14 and November 22 - India played two Test matches with Bangladesh. One was in Indore and the other in Kolkata.

India secured victory in both the games but television viewership figures were dismal.

While in week 47, the Test matches between the two teams were the most watched sports events, the impressions were far behind those registered during the T20 matches between India and Bangladesh.

On Star Sports 1 Hindi, the India-Bangladesh 2nd Test LIVE match recorded 31,68,000 impressions and India-Bangladesh 1st Test LIVE recorded 21,07,000 impressions.

The difference between the best performing slots for Test and the 3rd T20 International is over 500 percent.

So, is the longer and traditional cricket format losing audience interest?

According to Sandeep Goyal, Chairman, Mogae Media, a Mumbai-based marketing and communication agency, a Test match is invariably too slow, too much about 'technique and resilience' rather than fun and entertainment.

"Test matches are seen to be an anachronism in today's age of 'here-and-now' gratification. Tests were relevant 30 years ago before ODIs (One day Internationals) were born. Fans had time, had the patience. And anyway, there was no choice. Newer products like 100-ball tournaments are the future. Pink ball tests are a mere time shift, nothing more,” he added.

Although Star Sports 1 Hindi leads the sports channel list, according to the BARC ratings, the channel has lost more than 50 percent viewership due to the shift of LIVE cricket from the shorter form to the conventional format.

In week 46, Star Sports 1 Hindi recorded 23,84,37,000 impressions that came down to 11,26,93,000 impressions on the same channel.

In fact, the post-match review show for T20 International recorded better ratings at 21,61,000 impressions on Star Sports 1 Hindi than India-Bangladesh 1st Test LIVE that saw 21,07,000 impressions.

Yet, Goyal sayid that advertiser interest for Tests will remain.

"Advertisers actually get a much better value deal on Tests on pricing. So, some advertisers will continue to support the format," he added.

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First Published on Dec 2, 2019 06:14 pm
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