fifa u17 world cup, indian football
The India U-17 football team during their match against Ghana in the tournamentAIFF Media

India's Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) ratings have revealed that the Sony Pictures Network's (SPN) coverage of the FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017, in terms of viewership, was better than the broadcast of high-profile international football events like the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017, English Premier League 2016-17, La Liga 2016-17 and more, in India.

The India U-17 football team recorded defeats in all their three group games - against USA, Colombia and Ghana, but they did put up a great show in the tournament. [Here are the handpicked Indian boys who made the major impact].

Highlights of U-17 World Cup TV viewership in India:

  • The 22-day long FIFA U-17 World Cup was viewed by over 47 million viewers across India, while the Hindi and Bengali language feeds contributed to around 40 per cent of the overall viewership.
  • The tournament final between England and Spain at the Salt Lake Stadium Kolkata on 28 October, generated a nationwide interest, scoring an average 2.2 million impressions.
  • The India U-17 football team registered an average of 2.6 million impressions per game.
  • Bulk of the viewership has come from regions like West Bengal, Kerala and North East, while the fans in the metros also lapped up the opportunity to catch a glimpse of India's first-ever FIFA U-17 World Cup.
  • The viewership demographics have also showcased that almost 45 per cent women tuned in to watch the sporting event.

Source: BARC 2+, All India Urban + Rural Only Pay Sports channels and not FDA/DD channels.

"Overall, the tournament has rated better than any international football sporting event broadcasted in India," a media release said today (November 13).

"It was a great privilege for India as a nation to host the FIFA U-17 World Cup and an incredible opportunity for us at Sony Pictures Networks India to broadcast the tournament and bring football to the forefront in India," mentioned Rajesh Kaul, President, Sports and Distribution Business, Sony Pictures Networks India.

"Our efforts towards leveraging and enhancing the popularity of the FIFA U-17 World Cup have yielded excellent results and we hope this will be a pivotal point for the rise of football in India," he added.