Official broadcasters of the ongoing ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021, Star Sports India, on Monday, November 8, 2021, have claimed that the India-Pakistan match of the tournament, which was played on October 24, Sunday, became the most-watched T20 game till date.
It is a known fact that arch-rivals both on and off the field, India, and Pakistan only play each other in ICC events with their last bilateral series coming in 2012-13 and the last Test series between the two was played in 2006-07. However, ever since the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks which were carried out by Pakistan-based outfits, and then the Pulwama attack in 2019, the tension between the two sides has been paramount.
The match between the Men in Blue and Men in Green was also a high-profile one, thanks to the streak that Virat Kohli and his side carried into the tournament of have never lost to the Green Army in World Cup history- both ODIs and T20Is. India came into this uber-important match with a 12-0 winning streak overall and 7-0 in T20 World Cups.
However, Pakistan won the toss and chose to bowl first and it marked the downfall of the Indian team in Dubai International Cricket Stadium, as India struggled to 151 runs with captain Virat Kohli making a brilliant half-century. However, the Pakistani openers Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan hit unbeaten half-centuries as the Men in Green won their first match against India in World Cups by 10 wickets.
India-Pakistan Match Earns An Overall Reach Of 167 Million On The Star Network
Official broadcasters Star India and Disney have claimed that the India-Pakistan encounter in Dubai on October 24 did huge numbers and broke an overall record, becoming the most-watched T20 game to date.
The highly anticipated encounter between the two teams had an overall reach of 167 million on the Star network, said the media rights holder, quoting BARC India data. The agency defines reach as the total number of individuals who viewed the event for at least one minute. According to Star & Disney India, the match between India and Pakistan on October 24 had an AMA (average minute audiences in ‘000) of 78.
The broadcaster added that the tournament has registered a cumulative reach of 238 million for the qualifiers and first 12 games of the Super 12 stage. This match broke the record previously held by the 2016 ICC World T20 semi-finals between India and the West Indies, which had a reach of 136 million and an AMA of 60.
“By achieving a record reach, the India-Pakistan encounter has created history. We’ve worked hard to increase the number of people watching marquee cricket, and this record reflects our efforts across high-decibel promotions, enhanced narrative, specialized regional programming, and consumer innovations,” a Star India official stated.
“While the outcome of the match and India’s elimination from the competition disappointed fans, the record viewership demonstrates cricket’s unique ability to engage spectators on an “unprecedented scale,” the spokesman added.
The match had a top concurrency of 12 million users on Disney+Hotstar, the video streaming service. Star & Disney India have sold over 95 percent of the available inventory on TV, while digital inventory was totally sold out, ET had reported earlier.