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Asia Cup T20 minus the final attracts 26.6 crore viewers

MUMBAI: The Asia Cup, played in the T20 format for the first time and shown on Star Sports, attracted a viewership of 26.6 crore (266 million).

The BARC viewership data, provided by the broadcaster, did not include the final match between India and Bangladesh as it was played on 6 March. As BARC revealed the viewership numbers for the week ended 4 March, India’s triumph over Bangladesh will be captured in the rating agency’s next release of data.

The India-Pakistan contest was obviously the most-watched match. It was the top programme across genres recorded by BARC so far, Star said in a release.

“BARC’s viewership measurement figures tell a story where cricket’s television viewership has consistently dwarfed viewership of all other forms of programming, including general entertainment, since April last year,” Star said.

Star added that the Asia Cup India-Pakistan match was the highest watched T20 match ever on Hotstar, with engagement levels for Asia Cup matches being 1.5 times higher than even the 2015 IPL.

Quoting BARC data, Star said that the viewership among affluent males (15 years and older) in urban India for matches when India played one-day international or T20 games is significantly higher than even the lead entertainment channel’s share on those cricket days.

“The highlight is that cricket’s share of television audience in rural India was even greater among the same demographic group, more than twice the share of eyeballs garnered by the lead entertainment channel on those days,” Star said.