ICC chief claims record audience milestone

17 Jun 2019

By: Sport Industry Group

International Cricket Council Chief Executive David Richardson has claimed that the global audience for the India v Pakistan Cricket World Cup match on 16th June could reach one billion viewers.

The total – which would make it easily the most-watched cricket match in history – has been questioned by some industry observers, with official figures from multi-platform providers yet to be disclosed.

However, it appears likely that the previous record of 558 million viewers for the 2011 Cricket World Cup final between India and Sri Lanka is likely to have been bettered.

The match, which was won by India, attracted more than 700,000 ticket applications at the 23,500-capacity Emirates Old Trafford ground in Manchester.

Meanwhile Richardson has suggested that live coverage of the final of the tournament on 14th July could be offered on free-to-air television in the UK.

Sky has exclusive live rights in the UK, with Channel 4 showing television highlights, while the BBC is offering clips on its website.

Guy Lavender, Chief Executive of MCC, said he'd be "surpised" if the final, which is being held at Lord's, will be free-to-air. He added: "We all want to see the World Cup on free-to-air and we want to see cricket on free-to-air but the commercial realities are different."

Lavender was speaking alongside the former Sri Lankan cricketer and President Designate of the MCC Kumar Sangakkara and former England cricketeer and double world champion Claire Taylor at an invitation-only business breakfast held by MCC and supported by Sport Industry Group.