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Kabaddi World Cup 2016 attracts more than just Kabaddi fans across India

After nine years of no play, the Kabaddi World Cup is back this year, and for the first time - broadcast LIVE on Indian Television. Witnessing the Indian Kabaddi Team’s third consecutive win in the World Cup, the tournament garnered a massive viewership of 74 million unique TV viewers in India.

56.5% of the Kabaddi World Cup viewers had previously watched the Pro Kabaddi League earlier this year. Having successfully roped in Kabaddi fans, did the Kabaddi World Cup also acquire what brand advertisers call a ‘Sport Audience’ segment in India?

In a show of huge support from fans, the average viewership was 57% higher on days when the Indian Team played: 8th, 11th, 15th, 18th, 21st (semi-finals) and 22nd (finals). As seen in the graph below, these specific days experienced peaks in viewership.


An average of 28 million TV viewers watched the Indian team make their way to the finals.

The final match between India and Iran on 22nd Oct garnered the highest viewership in the tournament - 40.8 million viewers.

The Kabaddi World Cup received good viewership from both urban and rural audiences across different states in India. Andhra Pradesh had the highest number of both urban (9.5 million) and rural viewers (5.5 million) watching the tournament on Television.

The state of Tamil Nadu saw the smallest difference in viewership among urban and rural audiences - 3.2 million urban viewers and 2.9 rural viewersGujarat, which hosted the tournament in the city of Ahmedabad, also featured in the top five states with the highest number of urban viewers - 2.5 million.


In terms of viewership, Kabaddi viewership is certainly growing, and rapidly catching up with other popular sport-leagues in the country. Moreover, the sport viewership overlaps below reveal that the Kabaddi World Cup was evidently viewed by what brand advertisers consider a ‘Sport Audience’ segment in India.

kabaddi-sports-overlap.pngWhile more than half (56.5%) of the Kabaddi World Cup viewers previously watched the Pro Kabaddi League, the tournament also had significant viewership overlaps with other sport telecasts on Television:

A massive 75.8% of Kabaddi viewers watched the India vs New Zealand Cricket series broadcasted Live around the same time as the Kabaddi World Cup. Interestingly, Star Sports 3 which aired both the Kabaddi World Cup and the cricket series Live on alternate days, received the highest viewership among channels that aired live coverage.

There was a 20.8% viewership overlap with the Hero ISL and a 6% viewership overlap with the Wimbledon Tennis Lawn Championships.

(Read more on audiences reached by Hero ISL and Vivo IPL).

These individuals who watch a lot of sport content on Television are most likely to have positive responses towards brands and products associated with certain sports and sport personalities.

Using Zapr’s TV-to-Mobile platform, sport viewers can be identified and targeted for various sport related brands and products, all on the smartphone.

Zapr Media Labs
Zapr Media Labs
Latest resources on TV Advertising, Cross-media Marketing and Consumer Research.

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