9 in 10 Indians watch cricket — what else are they watching?

Apr 14, 2022

By: Kritti Bhalla

India is home to 13 crore sports fans

India is home to 13.6 crore sports fans, a recent report by media consulting service Ormax Media has revealed in its latest report. The word ‘fan’ here has been defined as someone who watched live sports on television or over-the-top (OTT) platforms in the last month for at least 30 minutes as an active viewer.

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91 percent of these fans are into cricket

The report has also revealed that there are 12.4 crore cricket fans in India, which represents 91 percent of the total sports fan. In other words, nine in ten sports fans in India watch cricket. In addition to this, there are seven cricketers in the list of top 10 most popular sports persons in India, the report has revealed.

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Chennai Super Kings has as many fans as football in India

Among all the teams, Indian Premier League (IPL) team Chennai Super Kings has emerged as the biggest sports franchise in India with 4 crore fans. Ormax Media has also highlighted that Chennai Super Kings has 2.2 crore loyal fans in India, which is almost as much as the entire fanbase for football in India.

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Kabaddi, wrestling comes right after

Kabaddi is the second most popular sport in India, with a fan base of 21 percent or 2.8 crore. It is safe to say that two in ten Indian sports fans watch kabaddi. It is followed by WWE and wrestling with 2.6 crore fans, which represents 19 percent of the total sports fans in India.

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Football has a fanbase of 2.3 crore

Football or soccer, whatever you may want to call it, is the fourth most popular sport in India. It has a user base of 2.3 crore, which represents 17 percent of the total sports fans in India. In terms of football club, Lionel Messi’s erstwhile team Barcelona FC tops the list with 39 lakh fans. Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi feature in the list of the 10 most popular sports persons in India, as per the report.

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Badminton has 1.1 crore fans in India

Eight percent of sports fans — or 1.1 crore Indians — watch badminton as a sport. Badminton star PV Sindhu is also among the top 10 most popular sports persons in India. Badminton is followed by athletics (7 percent), boxing (6 percent) and volleyball (6 percent).

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Hockey has 58 lakh fans in India

Although hockey has a strong history in India, it has not been able to have the same impact on modern day sports fans. As many as 58 lakh Indians, 4 percent of sports fans, watch hockey on TV or streaming platforms. It is then followed by table tennis, which has a fan following among 3 percent sports fans.

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3 crore Indians play at least one sport

As many as 3.1 crore Indians — or about 23 percent of the population of India — play at least one outdoor sport actively. Cricket, football and badminton take the top three positions as the most played sports in India. Volleyball and kho-kho feature also prominently in the list too.

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How did Ormax Media get this data?

Media consulting firm Ormax Media does tracking, testing and forecasting for firms, television and streaming services. The report, ‘We, The Sports Fans of India’, is based on inputs from 12,000 people across urban and rural India, collected over the six-month period from July to December 2021.

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