Sports viewing has long been a predominantly male pastime in India but there are signs that is changing and brands are responding accordingly, especially with regards to the nation’s favourite sport of cricket. 

The context 

  • IPL 2020 saw a 21% growth in female viewership versus IPL 2019; TVRs increased to 5.4 from 4.3, according to BARC data. 
  • The 2020 Women's T20 Challenge in November saw a TVR of 1.3 compared to just 0.5 in the 2019 event (and reached 60% more people than a tour by India’s men’s cricket team around the same time).
  • Observers attribute the uptick at least in part to the increased reach enabled by multiple language feeds of the tournaments. 
  • For IPL 2020, the Rajasthan Royals were sponsored by Niine Hygiene and Personal Care – the first time a feminine hygiene brand has sponsored an Indian sports team. 

Key quote

“Be it cricket, tennis, table tennis, badminton, brands are now open to considering these sporting events for women audiences … I think the differentiating factor is if I can catch the same audience somewhere else far cheaper” – Priti Murthy, chief executive officer, OMD India.

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