Television ratings soar in first Indian Grand Prix

Last Updated: Sun, Nov 06, 2011 19:42 hrs

Riding on the heavy buzz, Indian Grand Prix (GP)  held at the Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida  got the highest viewership ratings for any Formula One Race. The GP  was shown  live on ESPN Star Sports (ESS). 

According to the data provided by TAM Sports, unit of  TAM Media Research for the six metros , show the Indian Grand Prix garnered six times more average TVR compared to the other Grand Prix of Formula One 2011. TVRs reflect the percentage of viewers watching a programme at a particular time.

In the six metros—Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad and Bangalore—the race clocked a TVR of  1.0, said the TAM Data provided by the broadcaster.

The race saw higher traction amongst the youth (CS M 15-24 AB) with a rating of 1.6. The highest viewership was recorded in Bangalore with rating of 2.4 and 3.5 amongst the youth.  Delhi was next in viewership with an average rating of 1.7 and 2.5 for the youth.

“We were expecting good ratings as the GP was happening for the first time in India.Seeing the success this year, we hope this would generate lot of interest in coming years,” said Rathindra Basu, Senior Director Business Development, ESS.

Data available with ESS show that F1 had reached out to as many as 24.7 million consumers in India last year. This year, the first 10 races have had 21.7 million viewers.

For a country obsessed with cricket with a viewership of 195 million,  there has been a steady rise in viewership of other sports  like Soccer, Tennis and Motorsports. In 2008, Soccer had a reach of 83 million while in  first half 2011 it had grown to 121 million. Similarly, Motorsports and Tennis had 59 million and 70 million in 2008, while in first half of 2011 it had viewership of 88 million and 92 million respectively.

According to media buyers, the sports viewership in India is maturing, which has lead the corporates to look upon other sports as a viable investment option.

For instance,  ESS had roped in Sony, Samsung, Vodafone and Petronas as sponsors for the entire season while  MRF, Shell, BPCL, Tata Motors and Bharti Cellular had signed in as spot buyers.

Around two months prior to the event, the broadcaster sold the entire advertising inventory for the GrandGP, which was held between October 28 and 30.

According to media buyers, ESS has sold 10-second slots for around Rs 1.5 lakh. It had an inventory of 800 seconds for each race and ad space has been sold for the entire season. Though these rates are not comparable with Rs 4 lakh it charged for quarter finals and league matches of the ICC Cricket World Cup earlier this year, corporates have made a beeline to purchase spots for the event.

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