ICC: Biggest Cricket World Cup ever smashes Broadcast and Digital records

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Photo Credit: Twitter Cover Photo of @ICC

  • ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 records over a TRILLION viewing minutes, an increase of 38% from the last edition held in the Indian sub-continent in 2011
  • Digital coverage adds 23% to live linear TV viewership with 177 billion live viewing minutes consumed via streaming platforms
  • 16.9 billion video views on ICC platforms, a 158% increase from the previous record set at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022

The ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 hosted in India smashed broadcast and digital records across the world, making it the biggest World Cup ever.

The event, which saw Australia crowned champions for the sixth time, registered a record 1 trillion global live viewing minutes of broadcast, which included new technological innovations such as the vertical video feed, providing fans with an easier and more intuitive viewing experience on their mobile devices.

The global live viewing hours were an increase of 38% from the last edition of the tournament held in the Indian sub-continent, in 2011, and by 17% compared to 2019 when it was held in the United Kingdom.

The final between India and Australia at the Narendra Modi Stadium, the biggest cricket stadium in the world, became the most watched ICC match ever. There were 87.6 billion live viewing minutes globally, representing a 46% growth compared with the 2011 final that featured co-hosts India and Sri Lanka.

The event was carried by a total of 20 broadcast partners across 209 territories. For the first time, Hindi coverage was made available outside India by ESPN+, Fox Sports, Sky Sports and Willow TV.

ICC Chief Executive Geoff Allardice said: “We are delighted to announce the record-breaking viewership and engagement numbers for the Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023, making it the biggest World Cup ever. The incredible numbers continue to show the increased appetite for ICC events across the world and the consumption of innovative and engaging content that fans can enjoy.”

The viewership numbers are staggering across territories, most notably in host country India, where it became the most watched Cricket World Cup ever, with 422 billion viewing minutes on the Disney Star Network alone, resulting in a whopping 54% increase from 2011 and a significant 9% rise from 2019.

The tournament was the most broadcast in India, about five times more hours of coverage compared to 2011, thanks to the 22 channels that showcased the tournament across nine different languages (English, Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada & Malayalam).

The female viewership share rose from 32% for the 2011 edition of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup to 34% this year, reflecting the universal excitement surrounding the country’s home tournament. The final between the hosts and Australia became the most watched Men’s Cricket World Cup match ever with a peak TV audience of 130 million, with a total of 300 million people watching it on the Disney Star network on linear alone in India.

The 2023 edition was also the most broadcast tournament in the United Kingdom and Australia that saw huge jumps in viewership compared to 2011 when it was played in the same time zone.

The UK saw 800 hours of live coverage and 5.86 billion minutes (of live viewing compared to 4.74 billion minutes) in 2011, a 24% increase. In Australia, there were 602 hours of live coverage with 3.79 billion minutes of live viewing, 92% more than the 1.98 billion minutes recorded in 2011.

Coupled with Australia’s success, this led to significant increase in overall audience with 9.1 million people watching India 2023 compared to the 2019 edition in England and Wales which saw 6.1 million tune in.

Pakistan saw record viewership with 237.10 billion viewing minutes of live viewing. The corresponding figures were 230.49 billion minutes in 2019 and 220.63 billion minutes in 2011.

The 2023 edition was the most shown World Cup in South Africa and saw a 32% increase in viewership from 2019 with 5.01 billion minutes of live coverage watched.

Similar was the case in the United States, where 395 hours of live coverage made it the most broadcast Cricket World Cup, the coverage hours rising 14% from 2019. The final was the most watched match with 48 million live viewing minutes, 47% more than the second most watched (India vs Pakistan). Nine of the 10 most watched games in the US featured India.

The decision to make coverage freely available for mobile users via Disney+ Hotstar in India led to a whopping 295 million LIVE Tournament viewers tuning in. Across the event, there were five world records broken on Disney+ Hotstar for digital peak concurrency, with the final attracting cricket’s highest concurrent audience ever, having already made history at four other 2023 World Cup matches, demonstrating the appeal of cricket and the excitement the ODI format continues to offer:

  1. India vs Australia (Final) – 59 million peak concurrent viewers
  2. India v New Zealand (Semi-Final) – 53 million peak concurrent viewers
  3. India v South Africa – 44 million peak concurrent viewers
  4. India v New Zealand (Group match) – 43 million peak concurrent viewers
  5. India v Pakistan – 35 million peak concurrent viewers

More records were broken on ICC platforms, with this World Cup becoming the most digitally engaged ever with an astonishing 16.9 billion video views, an 158% increase from the previous record set at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 in Australia. Engagements on ICC social channels also saw a massive increase with a record 1.23 billion, an increase of 142% from the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 and 155% from 2019 edition in England and Wales.

These numbers reflected the ICC’s commitment to bring fans closer to the event no matter where they were in the world, whether it was showcasing India through the ‘It Takes One Day’ preview shows or going behind-the-scenes with teams after huge match wins like Australia’s victory in the final (19 million video plays on Instagram) or Afghanistan’s upset of Pakistan.

Having some fun and reimagining Glenn Maxwell’s cramp-afflicted heroics after his undefeated double-century against Afghanistan also had a major audience impact with 50 million video plays on Instagram. And host nation hero Virat Kohli’s Player of the Tournament feats created huge engagement, including a hug with his idol Sachin Tendulkar attracting 40 million video plays on Instagram after breaking his ODI centuries record (78 million video plays on Instagram) to his World Cup wicket with the ball (39 million video plays on Instagram).

The ICC’s partnership with Meta, which included the Meta Creator Squad India collaborating with players ahead of the event and the launch of the Meta Super 50 creators that shared their behind-the-scenes mobile view of matches through the tournament, also contributed to the various digital records broken and helped cricket reach new audience cohorts. Princy Parikh’s translation skit with Kane Willamson (128 million video plays on Instagram) was the most-watched piece of the entire event, which saw a total of 16.3 billion video plays across Meta channels (9.7 billion on Facebook and 6.6 billion on Instagram).

Web and app platforms set a record for users, with 97.5 million unique users for the event, a 29% increase from the 2019 edition. Page views on icc-cricket.com were also up to 704 million, totaling a 96% increase from a year ago at the Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia.

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