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Cricket tops the list but Indians love Grand Slam tennis too 

Cricket tops the list but Indians love Grand Slam tennis too 

Subhashish Majumdar

Published: 14 May 2019 1:50 PM GMT

Now, here's some good news - more Indians love watching sport that their counterparts in several other parts of the globe - what they watch most, however, should come as no surprise to those familiar with the sporting trends in this vast country of over a billion.

As per CNBCTV18, the Gentleman's game (albeit in several new avatars) continues to captivate audiences in this country, while a genteel racquet sport, which is getting more aggressive by the day, also mesmerizes Indian fans - for reasons that may be difficult to fathom.

Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi may well have made a name for themselves - and the country, in doubles, but no Indian has yet made it to within striking distance of any of the Grand Slams titles, in the singles competition, in either the men's or the ladies events.

Yet, Wimbledon is the only non-cricketing tournament that has managed to sneak into the top 5 of the most-viewed list as per statistics obtained from Ampere Analysis.

A survey conducted by the firm which specializes in media analysis draws up some rather interesting data.

Scorching Indian summers have, of late, become synonymous with BCCI's cash-rich Indian Premier League which seems to pervade every aspect of life - with even music stations on FM radio belting out regular updates on the progress of the teams - so, surely, the IPL is India's most watched sporting event without a shadow of doubt?


If Ampere's respondents are to be believed – it is the ICC Cricket World Cup which has generated the maximum interest among fans (79%), followed by the ICC World Twenty20 which comes in second at 67%.

The IPL - which began in 2008, has grown by leaps and bounds as far as viewership numbers are concerned, and the twelfth edition was no exception, attracting 300 million viewers as per statistics released by the official online broadcaster, Hotstar.

In spite of the staggering numbers, which were released before Sunday's final, India's professional T20 cricket league has only managed to muster up the third place behind ICC's flagship international tournaments.

Moving away from cricket, it isn't just the action at the All England Lawn Tennis grass courts that draws the Indian public - Melbourne Park, Flushing Meadows, and Roland Garros are also the cynosure of many a sporting eye with 53% respondents claiming to have an affinity for the sport.

While India can scarcely boast of many big names that have the ability wield the tennis racquet with aplomb on the global stage, the shuttlers have more than made up by taking the badminton world by storm - and, as one would expect, a huge number of eager fans (49%) follow the exploits of Saina, Sindhu, and Srikanth as they smash their way to glory.

Indian football has had a resurrection of sorts, in recent times, but soccer is followed by only 43% of viewers as per the responses from the survey, and the popularity of the FIFA World Cup is on par with the French Open, but fails to match up to the other tennis Grand Slams.

The percentage of respondents following the Olympic Games is reported to be 42% while 31% evinced interest in the Asian Games.

The Pro Kabaddi League has just about made the top 10 list, and brings up the rear at 31% - while wrestling, athletics, and motor racing are also managing to keep afloat as per the survey.

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