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Cricket World Cup drives surge in online viewing in India

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Online video viewing in India experienced a sharp increase in February and March, driven by the Cricket World Cup, according to analyst firm comScore.
In its report, comScore found that in March 2011, more than 37 million video streams were viewed on sports sites, up from 3.4 million in January.
"Online video became an important viewing channel during this year's Cricket World Cup," said Joe Nguyen, comScore vice-president for South east Asia.
"The ability to watch matches and replay coverage from the convenience of one's home or work computer provided a way for fans to continually be a part of the tournament. As streaming quality continues to improve with continued deployment of broadband across the country we expect online video to play an increasingly important role in major sports events across the market."
In March, nearly 32 million viewers aged 15 and older watched online video from a home or work location, representing 75% of India’s entire online audience (these figures do not include viewing from public computers such as internet cafes or via mobile devices).
For the first three months of 2011, overall engagement with online video peaked in March, with viewers consuming an average of 5.6 hours of video and averaging 58 videos per viewer across the web. A primary driver in this growth was the heightened interest in the Cricket World Cup, with video viewing on sports sites jumping sharply in February and March.
During March, 4 million unique viewers (representing 10% of online users) watched video on sports sites. In total, 37 million videos were viewed on sports sites in March, a tenfold increase from the 3.4 million videos viewed in January before the tournament began.