With Grappler Sushil Kumar’s silver and a handful of other medals, London Olympics 2012 has proved best ever for India. The world’s largest multi- sport event not only turned out great for India when it comes to medal tally, it is also grabbing millions of eyeballs on the Internet (though nothing matches the 113 million views of IPL 5).
While our athletes sweated out in the 2012 Olympics, doing the country proud, Indians took to television and online streaming channels provided by YouTube along with London2012.com, DD India and DD Sports. After IPL’s record 113 million online views during its fifth edition, according to the latest data announced by market research firm IMRB International, around 1.08 million Olympics’ related views (from India) were recorded by YouTube in the two and a half weeks between July 25 to August 6.
The report mentions that 7.42 million unique internet users in India consumed, i.e. read, watched videos and searched for Olympics related content. In addition to that, around 4.51 million users visited news websites such as yahoo.com, Indiatimes.com, London2012.com, DNAIndia.com and NBCOlympics.com. Surprisingly, amongst all sports disciplines, Archery tops the search list closely followed by Tennis, Badminton, Fencing and Judo.
Importantly, this is the first time Youtube has been offering live streaming for Olympics, earlier during Beijing Olympics it had only offered selected video clips. There are various drivers for online viewership of London Olympics, out of which better broadband speeds, arrival of 3G, rising penetration of internet enabled devices( smartphones and tablet) and ability to catch favourite sports on the go seem to have propelled the online viewership.
As far as online search for participating athletes from India in London Olympics is concerned, IMRB study found badminton sensation, Saina Nehwal at top, preceded by Jwala Gutta, Sania Mirza, Ashwini Ponnappa, Jai Bhagwan, Sushil Kumar and Leander Paes.
Earlier during IPL 5, despite of lower rating on TV viewership, Times Internet Limited, official online streamer in partnership with YouTube for IPL recorded around 113 million views, a rise of 56 percent in contrast of IPL-4 (2011) that had witnessed 72 million views. Online viewership of Olympics doesn’t look all that great when compared to IPL.
Aside, from a data point of view, it’s important to note that while IPL videos are being watched from (Indian) cricket fans across the globe, the Olympics data (of 1.08 million views) only represent eyeballs from India.
But then, in India, cricket is the opium of the masses right?