India against Pakistan at Cricket World Cup continues to set viewing figure records
The match between India and Pakistan, one of sport's biggest rivalries, at the men's Cricket World Cup in England and Wales earlier this month, is continuing to set viewing figure records
Hotstar, the streaming service for Star India, the popular Indian pay-TV service and the International Cricket Council's official tournament broadcast partner, delivered 15.6 million concurrent live viewers for the game (which India won comfortably), a record figure for an international match on the digital platform.
The overall record for any cricket game was set during the final of this season's Indian Premier League franchise tournament, with Hotstar securing 18.6 million million concurrent live viewers for that game.
Star India had previously achieved 107.2 million average impressions for the opening seven days of the tournament earlier this month, according to figures from India’s Broadcast Audience Research Council. That figure is the highest ever for an ICC event, but could well be beaten in the coming weeks if India makes the semi-finals.The fixture also secured the largest audience for match highlights broadcast by the ICC on its own digital channels, out of all the tournament games so far.
The ICC recorded viewing figures for the match's video highlights of 120 million.
To date, the total viewing figure for all tournament-based videos issued by the ICC, over its various social media channels as well as its official website and mobile app, is over 1 billion.The ICC’s video content from the World Cup includes game highlights, player interviews, behind-the-scenes videos, and viral videos.
The fixture between India and Pakistan also secured an average audience of 821,000 on Sky, the UK-based pay-TV broadcaster and domestic rights-holder. These figures mean the game became the most-watched one-day international game on Sky since 2006, and the fourth most-watched match in any format since then.
So far, more than 6 million viewers have watched action from the tournament live on Sky.
Manu Sawhney, chief executive of the ICC, said: “Providing a mix of platforms including TV, digital and social, means we’re widening our reach and providing greater opportunities for fans to engage with our sport and content more than ever before and clearly demonstrating the power of live cricket to aggregate huge audiences.”
It was reported last week that the tournament final, which will take place on 14 July in London, is being considered for free-to-air coverage in England.
Sky Sports has exclusive live rights to all tournament matches, with highlight clips available online on the website of the BBC (the country’s public-service network), and a highlights programme available each night on Channel 4, the commercial broadcaster. However, given the tournament’s location, and that there is a strong possibility of pre-tournament favourites England making the final, there have been calls for wider access to the match.
In an interview with BBC Radio Five live recently, ICC chief executive David Richardson said: “I know that the ECB [England and Wales Cricket Board] and the local organising committee are working with the Sky people to try to maximise the reach for the match.”
The cricket showpiece has not been televised live free-to-air since 1999, the last time England hosted the event.