India-New Zealand final most watched match in inaugural World Test Championship, ICC confirms

Test cricket is here to stay.

Saurabh Ganguly Author

Updated - 28 July 2021 1:10 pm

The World Test Championship finally gave some context to the longest and the purest form of the game. While red-ball cricket was somehow surviving, it needed some sort of a boost to co-exist in the sport which is now dominated by limited-overs cricket. However, there shouldn't be any doubt that the inaugural cycle of the Test championship was a success. Although it did have its share of criticism regarding the points system and how it had to be changed with the onset of pandemic, given that it is early stage of the competition, the Championship is only expected to go better from here on.

In a recent update, the International Cricket Council has confirmed that the summit clash of the inaugural Championship cycle - the one off Test between India and New Zealand in Southampton in June, was in fact the most viewed Test match of the first cycle. It is being learned that the match garnered a massive viewership of 130.6 million across 89 countries.

99 million people watched the match on TV in India

Earlier, as per the data released by the Broadcast Audience Research Council India (BARC), which happens to be a television audience measurement service, the World Test Championship final was the most-viewed Test match in India since 2018. This particular report claimed that an estimated 99 million people watched the match on TV with the average minute audience being 7.4 million. The average minute audience has been defined by BARC as the number of individuals of a target audience who view an event, averaged across minutes.

Had India been in a position to win, the viewership would have been even more

“After a long wait of 144 years, a world champion for Tests will be crowned and this makes the WTC Final a marquee property. We are expecting the WTC Finals to be the most-watched game, keeping in mind the weekend and also a prime time slot – the attention and pent-up demand are something advertisers are capitalizing on,” Anil Jayaraj, Executive Vice President, Star Sports was quoted as saying by Moneycontrol.

Meanwhile, there were speculations that had India been in a position to win the Test, the viewership would have been even more in this part of the world, also contributing to the overall numbers. If these stats are anything to go by then Test cricket is not going extinct anytime soon.

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