Indo-Pak clash most watched TV event ever; drew 229 million TV viewers in India

JK Bank

The ICC 2019 world cup clash between arch rivals India and Pakistan attracted 229 million television viewers in India, accounting for over 60% of the screen audience for the first three weeks of the showpiece event in the cricket crazy nation.

The first 27 matches in the 10-team quadrennial tournament,  attracted 381 million viewers, according to Broadcast Audience Research Council of India.

The Indian side had four matches — including the washout against New Zealand — slotted in during that period, drawing a combined total of 321 million viewers.

The rain-hit, stop-start World Cup match at Old Trafford, Manchester, between the political rivals drew a massive global audience and organisers received nearly 800,000 applications for tickets at the 23,000-capacity stadium, Reuters reported.

Official broadcaster Star India, which is showing the World Cup in six languages including English, hailed the match as the most-watched television event ever.

India and Pakistan have not hosted a cricket series between their countries since 2013 due to political tensions.

However, the national teams have faced each other in tournaments such as the 2017 Champions Trophy and 2018 Asia Cup held in neutral venues.

India extended their unblemished World Cup record against Pakistan to 7-0 after securing an 89-run victory via the Duckworth-Lewis method in the June 16 encounter.

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