The average TV rating rose slightly to 7.8 in India’s six metro areas. Bangalore leads the pack with average TVR of 9.17 for the first match followed by Mumbai (9.14 TVR), Kolkata (7.7 TVR), Delhi (7.65 TVR), Hyderabad (6.43 TVR) and Chennai (4.94 TVR).
The figures show 33 million viewers in India watched the opening match from Dhaka on Star Cricket; 28 million watched the state channel Doordarshan 1; 25 million tuned into ESPN; and 17 million to Star Sports.
Of these viewers, 12 million watched on terrestrial television, and 76 million on cable and satellite, according to Indiantelevision.com. A total of 14 million viewers watched the initial cricketing action via digital transmission on either direct to home (DTH) satellite platforms or digital cable.
Fourteen million Indian viewers also tuned into the opening ceremony of the tournament on 17 February.
Broadcast rights holder ESPN Star Sports has also announced that requests for its live streaming of the Cricket World Cup on its website had reached over 3 million in the first four days of the tournament. Of these, one million were unique video viewers.
“We are indeed delighted with the ratings,” said Sanjay Kailash, Executive Vice President – Advertising Sales & New Media, ESPN Software India. “There have been lots of discussions and comparisons with rival properties over the past few months but the opening match of the tournament has clearly proved the fact that ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 is indeed the ‘The Cup That Counts’.
"In fact, the ratings of the opening match of the ICC Cricket World Cup are substantially higher than the corresponding opening match of IPL 3 for starters,” he added. “And here we are talking of a larger time duration vis-à-vis a T20 match in IPL. We expect the ratings to go up even further as the Indian cricket team marches on in its quest for victory and we wish them all the best.”
The opening match between India and Bangladesh began at 2pm on Saturday 19 February, and lasted for 470 minutes. The ICC Cricket World Cup, which is being jointly hosted by Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka, runs until 2 April 2011.