Tuesday, June 29, 2010

World Cup Football 2010 Could not outshine Cricket in India

There is no doubt that this World Cup Football 2010 has generated enormous buzz about football or soccer in India compared to any other time. A look at ESPN India’s advertisements of the current month shows that many companies have come up with special ads only targeting World Cup Football. However, in terms of TV viewership and advertising money, football is still much behind than cricket.
There is still no concrete data on TV viewrership ratings on South Africa 2010 tournament. However, it is clear that many more people are enjoying the matches this time compared to Germany 2006. According to a report of TAM Media Research, Football is the third highest viewed sports in India with 83 million viewers. With 122 million viewers, cricket holds the top spot while wrestling is watched by 96 million viewers. The report also indicated that in the last 5 years, interest for football has increased by 60%.
Football is mainly popular in states like West Bengal, Kerala and Assam. Thus, it is still a regional sports, while cricket is more popular in all over the country.
Some of the findings of that report are perhaps somewhat shocking. For example, the report stated that there is huge interest about domestic football competitions among TV viewers in India. This may sound a bit odd and shocking simply because in most of the football matches of I-League, stadiums remain more or less half-empty. Secondly, there is hardly any website or blog on Indian domestic football. A look at Google Trends India also suggests lack of any interest about domestic football among Internet users in India.  
As for advertising money, FIFA 2010 is still way behind to IPL 2010. According to a report of Financial Express, "While IPL(3) generated Rs 840 crore ad revenue, FIFA World Cup 2010's ad sales is expected to touch Rs 150 crore." Even when it comes to the price of an advertisement for 10 second spot, World Cup Football 2010 perhaps can generate half of IPL.
World Cup Football 2010 could reach to millions of people in India and it is good for the football fans. For example, there is no channel that broadcasts La Liga (of Spain) matches in India. Messi and Kaka play in La Liga for Barcelona and Real Madrid respectively. Hopefully, ESPN and Star Sports will become interested to bring the La Liga matches live for South Asian viewers again.  


  1. india's curse is cricket, time-wasting, money-wasting foolish game between only 2 players (batsman and bowler) even though 22 players are there in both teams and a game of individuality, individual records, a kind of selfish and an utter idiotic game, which is to be discoraged for the sake of india..

    cricket-dominant nations are the most poor in the world..it shows the mind and laziness of the people in that particular country, this girlish game is designed especially for indians, who is unwilling to take any risks, and who are living in their shells, false beliefs of religious extremism..may god bless India

  2. wht rubbish r u talkin cricket is the best sport of the world

  3. cricket is the game among two or three countries in the world.there are more than 30 matches between india-sri lanka in a year,where football is playing among 206 countries & in this year a new world champion..in cricket we don't dream zbout that Zimbabwe will win world cup......

  4. I don't think football will ever trump cricket. I'm not a big fan of the sport because, as the other commenter said, it's rather silly to have only two people play when there are 22 players on the field, but cricket has a long history and India isn't the only country crazy for it. Heck, even if it was an India-only sport, that's still a lot of fans backing it up given India's population.

  5. Cricket a predominantly urban game has taken strong roots in rural centres in India. The fame and money in cricket has also lured budding footballers to cricket.