Pro Volleyball off to flying start
Despite sports channels’ intermittent switch-offs Pro Volleyball was sampled by over 14 million viewers on TV and 1 million on digital platform in first week.
For a niche sports league in a country where cricket gets the maximum viewership and ad revenue, volleyball has made rapid strides, sports experts said.
As per viewership data sourced from a BARC India subscriber, the first seven matches clocked a reach of 14.3 million, with an average reach at 2.9 million.
It’s important to note that the week also witnessed a lot of distribution platforms switching off sports channels in various markets in order to nudge subscribers to opt for channels of their choice and migrate to the new tariff order of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai).
BARC India refused to share viewership figures saying that in light of implementation of the new tariff regime, the monitoring agency will release data only to its subscribers.
Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN) Sports Network is the official broadcast partner of the league.
Among the matches, the Calicut versus Mumbai game on February 5th was the highest rated one with 328,000 impressions (number of viewers at any given point of time during the match). Per match impressions were at a healthy 237,000, while average time spent per viewer per match stood at 11 minutes.
On digital platform SonyLIV, first 12 matches were viewed by one million users, which as per Uday Sodhi, business head – digital business at SPN, is higher than many sporting leagues.
“We have seen good traction from Lucknow, Pune, Ahmadabad, Patna and Jaipur. Almost 83-84% of viewers were between the age group of 18-34 years. This is one of the better leagues for a niche sport,” Sodhi said.
He added, “Pro Volleyball has got wide spread acceptance and the experiment seems to be working. It’s a great start.”
Even on-ground, the stadium was packed to full capacity.
“We have been consistently delighted with the on-ground response. Kochi and Calicut have their own established fan armies and even Chennai and Hyderabad have had great support. We’ve seen packed venues and a carnival atmosphere. And there has been a significant response from the international volleyball community,” said Joy Bhattacharjya, CEO, Pro Volleyball League.
Launched on February 2, Pro Volleyball League had roped in RuPay as title Sponsor, Bank of Baroda, Peter England and Nippon Paint as associate sponsors and Gulf Oil, Penna Cement and MyTeam11 as official sponsors.
Fantasy gaming platform MyTeam11 has also seen a surge in the daily users playing volleyball fantasy game, and the company has doubled the daily prize pool, said Sanjit Sihag, COO and co-founder, MyTeam11.
“We are the first fantasy gaming platform in the world to add volleyball and we have seen great response. Initially, the prize pool was Rs 50 thousand, which now we have increased to Rs 1 lakh. During the initial matches, around 15 thousand gamers were playing volleyball fantasy game, which has now touched over 49 thousand. We are getting good reach from big and small towns. Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan are accounting to 30% of the traffic, followed by north east and south,” Sihag said.