The early morning hours did not deter viewership for the Rio Olympics 2016 which hosts 120 Indian athletes – the largest number so far in the history of India’s participation in the Olympics: 5.6 million viewers in India tuned in to watch the opening ceremony which kicked off at 4:00 AM on 6th August 2016. Day one of the biggest sports event in the world received a grand viewership of 52.7 million viewers in India, despite claims that this year’s Olympics telecast has evidently received the worst television viewership ratings compared to previous years in some parts of the world.
6.1 million viewers watched the telecast repeat of the opening ceremony later in the day and interestingly, 7.5% who had the watched the live telecast early in the morning came back to watch the highlights.
The live telecast saw the highest viewership for the day between 8:00 PM and 11:00 PM during which famous Indian sportspersons took on the field: 14.4 million viewers tuned in between 8:00 PM and 9:00 PM witnessing the Indian men’s hockey team’s first win in the Olympics this year. The viewership rose to 15.4 million viewers in the next hour as leading Indian tennis players like Leander Paes, Rohan Bopanna and Sania Mirza kicked off with their first matches in the tournament.
A large portion of Indian TV viewers who watched the Rio Olympics had previously followed other popular sport events on TV: a massive 73.4% of viewers who watched the Olympics had also watched the biggest sporting league in India – VIVO IPL 2016. 36.4% of the Olympic viewers also watched the Pro Kabaddi League while 19.3% watched the UEFA Euro 2016. A smaller portion of 1.5% of Olympic viewers watched both the recent tennis tournaments.
Apart from watching sports channels, the Indian viewers who watched the Rio Olympics also heavily consume Hindi Entertainment on TV – ‘The Kapil Sharma Show’ on Sony Entertainment TV, ‘Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa’ on Colors TV and ‘The Voice Kids’ on And TV are some of the top shows watched watched by these viewers.
The state of Maharashtra received the highest viewership for the Olympics telecast along with an urban share that was ten times larger than the viewership among rural audiences. Tamil Nadu experienced the largest share of rural audiences watching the Olympics telecast in India.
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ZAPR profiles the TV viewership behavior of tens of millions of individuals across India. The audiences considered in this study are part of ZAPR’s TV viewership audience pool. Additionally, through the ZAPR Audience Platform, millions of TV viewers can now be targeted and engaged with interactive mobile content and ads.