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NBA viewership growingin India, says Six biz headPrasana Krishnan (1 Viewer)

Sajee

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MUMBAI: Basketball action on Multi Screen
Media’s (MSM) sports channel Six is
growing in viewership, courtesy of the NBA.
The channel airs 14 live matches each week
and the results of a sustained push are
starting to show.

“The NBA continues to be the growth story
in sports. The reach is up by over 50 per
cent so far this season. TVTs have risen
because the time spent has increased
significantly. This shows that there is more
salience and fan following for basketball.
Our strategy of trying to get people to
watch some live sporting action in the
morning has paid off,” said Six business
head Prasana Krishnan.

“For the live games, this season has seen a
phenomenal 192 per cent growth in ratings,
over a similar stage last season. Average
TVTs have been 12 per game compared to
four TVTs last season. This is reflected in
the average reach per game increasing to
0.3 million viewers, compared to 0.1 million
viewers per game last season. The time
spent per person has also increased to six
minutes per game, compared to three
minutes last season.

“The average improves if they take into
account only the second live game each day
which typically tips off on or after 7:30 am
and hence falls in a better viewing band.
The average TVT increases to 15 per game
with an average reach of 0.4 million viewers
per game and time spent of 6 minutes per
game.”

Quoting Tam data C&S 4+, Krishnan said
that the growth is being fuelled by the small
towns as well as metros especially South
India, with Chennai, Kerala, AP and Rest of
Karnataka (excluding Bangalore) showing
maximum growth in viewership compared to
last season. Meanwhile, the traditional
markets like Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and
Gujarat 1 Mn+ are the top-reach markets.

He further noted that the total cumulative
viewership this season so far for the live
games is 11.5 million viewers, which
indicates a 53 per cent growth over the
cumulative figures last season at the same
stage, which stood at 7.5 million viewers.
Female viewership has grown by 69 per
cent. Female viewership stands at 4.8
million viewers, compared to 2.8 million last
season at the same stage. If the overall
coverage is included (Live+ Non Live, i.e.
highlights/repeats/NBA Inside Stuff/NBA
Action episodes, etc.), the total viewership
has grown to 18.5 million viewers so far,
which is a 32 per cent growth over same
stage last season which stood at 14 million
viewers.

Krishnan attributes the growth in NBA’s
viewership to aggressive marketing, on-
ground events and programming initiatives.

“Our aim is to have a further 100 per cent
viewership growth this season. On-air we do
supplementary programming like player
profiles, fillers and educational videos. On
the ground we partnered with the NBA for
their NBA Jam initiative. Done across 16
cities, this was a purely on-ground initiative
and we see it translating into viewership in
the long term.”

In terms of advertising, some brands have
already come in. “We have got a few support
brands. However, our aim is to build the
NBA’s viewership to credible levels rather
than just do short-term sales.”

MSM president Rohit Gupta said that while
the NBA is a new sport, the progress made
so far is encouraging. “Any sport takes time
to grow. The NBA will take some time to
establish itself but the initial signs are
positive. The NBA is youth centric which is
the key reason why viewership of matches
in the morning has been growing.”

NBA viewership growing in India, says Six biz head Prasana Krishnan | TelevisionPost.com
 

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