New Delhi: A total of 110.5 million viewers in India watched the FIFA World Cup tournament, the official broadcaster Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN) said. The tournament which kicked off on 14 June had 64 live matches aired across Sony Ten 2, Sony Ten 3 and Sony ESPN channels.
The final match between France and Croatia held on 15 July was watched by 51.2 million viewers, as per the broadcaster. Meanwhile, 70 million viewers watched the tournament on SPN’s video streaming platform SonyLIV.
The total cumulative reach for the FIFA World Cup 2018 on SPN was 254 million viewers which included live matches, wraparound shows, highlights, repeats, surround programming of FIFA World Cup on SPN Sports Network; terrestrial network and video streaming platform SonyLIV.
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Sony, which for the first time, introduced four regional language feeds including Malayalam, Bengali, Tamil and Telugu, said these were well-received. The network said 40.7 million viewers across India have sampled the regional commentary feed. Meanwhile, local language feed which includes both four regional languages and Hindi was sampled by 70.7 million viewers, making up 66% of the overall tournament reach.
Women viewers contributed 47% of the tournament’s reach. The top four markets which contributed to viewership of the tournament include West Bengal (22.2 million), Kerala (17.8 million), Maharashtra/Goa (12.8 million)and Assam/North East/Sikkim (11.4 million).
“We are extremely excited by the success of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia with the viewership meeting all our expectations. This definitely reflects the passion the sport is seeing in India," said Rajesh Kaul, chief revenue officer - distribution and head - sports, Sony Pictures Networks India in a statement.
The broadcaster, which has managed to bring more than 40 advertisers on television, is estimated to have clocked close to ₹ 200 crore in advertising revenue. The 2014 edition of FIFA World Cup fetched the network ₹ 100 crore of ad revenue.
“The response to the tournament has been outstanding. The average rate of 10 second long ad spot was over ₹ 6 lakh which is quite an encouraging figure," said Rohit Gupta, president - network sales and international business, Sony Pictures Networks (SPN).