Fast-paced 20-over tournaments may be the new rage in cricket but going by the television ratings garnered by the ongoing India-Australia series, all is not lost for the traditional one-day international formats either.

All eyes: Action during the fifth one-day cricket match being played between India and Australia in Hyderabad on Thursday. Aijaz Rahi / AP

According to the latest viewership data from TAM Media Research Pvt. Ltd, a television audience measurement agency, the first three matches of the ongoing series scored average television rating points (TRPs) of 2.44% on Neo Sports Broadcast Pvt. Ltd’s Neo Cricket and 2.39% on state-owned Prasar Bharti’s Doordarshan channel. These ratings are a whopping 64% and 45% higher than the recently concluded International Cricket Council’s Champions Trophy where the first three matches played had TRPs of 0.86% or the Champions League Twenty20 tournament that followed and received an average rating of 1.32% for the first three games, according to TAM data. (TRPs are the percentage of viewers watching a particular TV programme at a certain time.)

The high viewership has boosted advertiser interest in the tournament, prompting broadcaster Neo Sports to hike advertising rates by 33% for the remaining matches in the series that ends mid-November. “Neo Sports had priced its 10-second spots quite high at Rs3 lakh right from the start, but the good ratings will make them increase it to Rs4 lakh," said a senior executive from a media buying agency who is involved in the deals.

Although the channel did not comment on whether spot ad rates would be sold at a premium, Abhishek Verma, head, marketing and communication at Neo Sports, said the ratings have helped.

“The viewership rating has increased demand from advertisers with every match—when we started out we had six sponsors but now all eight sponsorship slots are sold out with Airtel DTH and Samsung coming in."

According to Verma, 85% of the tournament’s inventory for all remaining matches has already been sold. TAM ratings usually come with a week’s lag and two more matches in the seven-match series have since been played. For cricket-heavy advertisers, the ratings come as a relief after a run of bad investments. “Our commitment to cricket is not restricted to a particular tournament but to the sport, but having said that, we are happy that the response to the Indo-Australia series has been stronger than (the response) of previous tournaments this year," said a spokesperson for Samsung India Electronics Pvt. Ltd, which was also a broadcast sponsor for both Champions Trophy and Champions League.

The TAM data was collated in all cable and satellite television households among viewers aged 4 and above.