Not only was the stadium packed, with an attendance of over ninety thousand, the match expectedly broke viewership records yet again.
India vs Pakistan: Virat Kohli epic leads Men in Blue to 4-wicket win in T20 World Cup 2022
With the country lit up for Diwali, the fireworks fell short as India avenged their loss against Pakistan exactly a year ago in last edition’s T20 World Cup. The Sunday blockbuster match with over 1.8 crore viewers glued to their screens for the India-Pakistan match. These viewers are just the ones who were watching the match on the digital streaming platform, Disney+ Hotstar.
The match was also live telecast on television by official broadcasters Star Sports in India. But the viewership numbers will be released only a week later by the television audience measurement body Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC).
The match was also screened on theaters of PVR and Inox, which reported large visitors enjoying the match in movie halls.
Putting aside the TV viewership, the online streaming views once again was record-breaking. On the Disney+ Hotstar app, which is the official streaming partner of the World Cup, it was the highest-ever viewership at 1.8 crore, beating the previous record of 1.4 crore recorded between the arch-rivals at the Asia Cup, a source told PTI.
T20 WC: How street smart Virat Kohli stirred India to a nerve-wracking last ball win against Pakistan
From the onset of the game, when the first ball was bowled by Bhuvneshwar Kumar, the views on Disney+ Hotstar were 36 lakh live views. When the Pakistan innings came to an end, the live views were 1.1 crore on the app and this increased to 1.4 crore viewers during the innings break.
When India started the chase, the total number of live viewers were 40 lakh. The number jumped to a record-breaking 1.8 crore when Kohli led India to a scintillating win over Pakistan.
As reported in PTI, the multiplex operators INoX Leisure and PVR, which are showing the matches live on the screens of their cinema halls have also witnessed phenomenal responses from the viewers.
INOX Leisure CEO Alok Tandon told PTI, “The response that we got for this match across all the 90-plus cinemas across the country has been phenomenal, identical to a blockbuster movie. The electric environment in the auditoriums was much like what someone witnessed in the stadiums.”
PVR Joint Managing Director Sanjeev Kumar Bijl said the response to the game has been strong at PVR cinemas. “We have played this game at 122 screens in 51 cities across the country and the response has been strong all over. The charm and excitement of watching live sports on a big screen as a collective experience continues to gain strength in India,” he said.
Karan Taurani SVP of Elara capital said it is a positive trend and now lots of sports viewership is coming on digital streaming. Now sports have emerged as important for the video consumption market and every platform needs some kind of sports as lots of eyeballs do come here. “Tournaments of national interest and India-Pakistan matches are watched with a lot of passion. If you look at the growth in terms of viewership share on digital, its phenomenally high,” he said.
However, he also added that such numbers may not be repeatable as the match was nail-biting and went up to the last ball but it’s a “positive trend” as lots of viewership is coming on digital platforms. However, he also added that the viewership of traditional media such as TV is stable and has no decline because people want to watch live content on TV and digital as per their convenience.
The last over was action-packed as India secured a four-wicket victory on the very last ball, with an emotion Kohli’s celebration touching everyone’s hearts. The former skipper who hammered an unbeaten 82 off 53, picked up the player-of-the-match award.
India will next take on Netherlands on Thursday (Oct. 27).
Source: With inputs from PTI