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Cricket Viewership: When Matches Become Battlegrounds

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Cricket broadcasting immortalizes the game and its stars. Combating to win the shortest format of the game in stadiums as battlegrounds with players as superheroes.According to the ICC as well, India constitutes around 90 percent of over one billion fans of this sport.  As a result, the India-Pakistan encounter at the recently held ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in Dubai is now officially the most viewed T20I match in history.

Television

From 4 cameras in the 80s, production has progressed to almost 40 capturing today. There are cameras all around the boundary line. Not only broadcasting to television screens, but also streaming through the internet to millions of desktops, laptops, tablets, and mobile phones.

The International Cricket Council shared its global viewership figures (click website) for the tournament. Here are some other key findings:

  • A staggering 167 million Viewers. 10,000 hours of live coverage on TV+Digital covering over 200+ countries with increased consumption in India, Pakistan, Australia, UK, and the USA.
  • In India, children below the age of 15 command a share of 18.5%
  • Overall viewership shares also grew in Australia (175%), Pakistan (7.3%), the UK (7%)
  • In the USA, the tournament is most viewed in ESPN’s cricket history
  • ICC’s partnership with Facebook resulted in 4.3 billion views compared to 3.6 billion in the 2019 world cup.

Broadcasting works on eyeballs. Hence, the largest revenue generator for major cricket organizers around the world.

Star Sports has a long standing relationship with ICC. The sports broadcasting network owned by 21st Century Fox through its subsidiaries STAR TV and Fox International Channels oversees the syndication and distribution of ICC events to a global audience and Broadcast Partners. Star’s distribution efforts ensure that ICC events are available via live coverage to more than 1.5 billion people.

Have a look as follows:

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Social Media + OTT platforms

Cricket fans also moved up the value chain, from being consumers to storytellers

There is a real shift in the market in terms of the interest and types of companies that are interested in earning the rights. You are seeing a bit of a shift from traditional broadcasters to the large digital companies as well.

Facebook now Meta being a prime example. The ground-breaking partnership, allows Facebook to show a wide range of content on its Watch platform, including match recaps and in-play key moments, although not the live-streaming of matches. Serving the fans with content that generates new conversations and connections. A record breaking growth in digital consumption witnessed aptly at the 2019 Mens World Cup.

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Moreover, with cricketers becoming celebrities, their life off the field also became an integral part of storytelling by fans. Fans from both sides compete with their own stories and analysis, flooding social media with hashtags.

Today, the story of a moment does not end with the broadcaster’s point of view, as it organically passes through thousands of analyses from fans across multiple social platforms. Fans also transform as experts for viewers in live OTT platforms and social media platforms.

In 2020, 405 million people — roughly the population of Europe — watched the IPL on television, according to BARC data. Previously, Hotstar, India’s Disney-owned streaming service, has set a global record for the number of viewers tuning into a live event. Hence, record was set for a cricket match. Around 18.6 million viewers logged in to the Hotstar website and app to watch the decider of the 12th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket tournament.

Furthermore, click this a good read on the trends with viewer engagement and shopping.

Fans are also the storytellers today

Fans and Tech

The technology focus for cricket in the 21st century has shifted towards enhancing the fan experience and engagement. Making the game more credible, connected, and enjoyable for the audience. Some notables include:

  • Newer technologies like ball tracking and bat swing analysis enable viewers to examine a cricket shot. Technology like a stump camera with a mic helps to capture the moments on the pitch.
  • Realtime Snicko (from BBG Sports) or UltraEdge (from Hawk-Eye innovations) works on the principle of sound frequencies to detect whether the ball touched the bat before being caught by the fielding team
  • Hotspot uses 2 infrared cameras placed on opposite sides of the ground, with a clear view of the batsman. When the ball hits any equipment of the batsman, Analysis of the infrared image helps the umpires makes a verdict
  • DRS enhances umpiring outcomes and the fans get to don the hat of an umpire.
  • Camera angles through Spider-cams and Buggy cams facilitate constant tracking of players and ball movements. While drone cameras capture near ground level shots to skyline. A birds eye view of the game.

A highly recommendable read Technologies in Cricket for 21st Century Fans by Spektacom

Data and video analytics provide plenty of story angles for analysis by the commentators and fans – zones of strength and weakness, player battles, etc., engage the fan well beyond the actual game. Computer graphics, replays, and slow-Mo camera feeds allow the viewers to engrave the moment in memory.

Conclusion

Read Story Here

To engage viewers, you need to have a highly engaging story format. The story of how players overcame the odds, matchups, etc. Because a story of resilience, and sometimes also friendships sells. Therefore forming the crux of broadcasting narration in a socially connecting digital world today

Personally for me, the story of the most-watched India Pakistan match began right after the battle was over. When Virat Kohli hugged Rizwan and Pakistani players had a fan moment with Dhoni.

SPORTS MARKETING : PAKISTAN’S LEADING SPORTS

Responsible for Commercial Deals + Branding + Event Management

AQ

AQ

✅ Agency Founder✨Ex-CEO at Leading Media ARY & Jang Group✨Ex-Contributor Khaleej Times & Dawn✅
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Sunil Achari
Sunil Achari

Very nicely said sir “the story of the most-watched India Pakistan match began right after the battle was over. When Virat Kohli hugged Rizwan.”

Shoaib Khan
Shoaib Khan

Sir please share more about broadcast deals in Pakistan. I am interested for my next semester project.

Maria Umer Khan
Maria Umer Khan

Dubai was buzzing with India Pakistan I’m glad to witness it so not surprised it broke all viewership records on the globe.

Shahmeer Khan
Shahmeer Khan

Best Headline!!! Please share info about cricket deals

Rudranayaran Kamila
Rudranayaran Kamila

You know 1/3 of that viewership is Female

Mahwish Khan
Mahwish Khan

We should collaborate cricket viewership with climate change awareness in this region.

Syed Javed Iqbal
Syed Javed Iqbal

Sir please share more info on contracts specially Pakistan Cricket

Sarwat Khan
Sarwat Khan

Pakistan’s Women Cricket can do a lot more if they are given the same level of support

Arun Kumar
Arun Kumar

Please share more details on cricket contracts

Riaz Ahmed
Riaz Ahmed

PCB should take a lead on this type of media management of story telling

Noor Fatima
Noor Fatima

Nice

Nauman Awan
Nauman Awan

I want to know about contracts and deals in Pakistan cricket please share

Arun Kumar
Arun Kumar

The new IPL broadcast deal is bigger than anything cricket has ever seen. Franchise is bigger than ICC events

Ahram Khan
Ahram Khan

Sir please share PAK broadcast deals

Prabat Kumar
Prabat Kumar

Excellent article. Sir what do u think about the new cricket Hundred please let know

Abdul Majid
Abdul Majid

Why you support India cricket figures only? Being Pakistani you should focus on Pakistan cricket figures

Maryam Ahmed
Maryam Ahmed

Yes it was sweet to see Kohli and Babar and Rizwan after the match but personally for me beating India like that was better.