Behind The Scenes

Huge audiences show that T20 cricket scores across ESPN platforms

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The Twenty20 form of cricket is beginning to institute itself as popular as the sport’s more established Test and one-day varieties.

Over the past month, cricket fans globally and increasingly in the United States, have been captivated by two key T20 tournaments: the ICC World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka, and, the Champions League Twenty20 tournament.

As opposed to Test matches which are played over five days, and, one-day matches, T20 is played over around just three hours, making it a high-octane, fast-paced form of the sport. And with group Stage play in the CLT20 tournament concluding yesterday, and continues to log traffic growth globally.

Over the course of 11 days, which included 20 matches, averaged 1.3 million visitors per day, registering an average of 9.5 million page views, and spending an average of 34.6 million minutes (up 17 percent, 27 percent, and 95 percent respectively compared to the 2011 edition of the CLT20).

The CLT20 comes on the heels of another major international cricket championship, the ICC World Twenty20. During that tournament, ESPNcricinfo has posted its best-ever audiences for the Twenty20 format of the game globally and across all platforms.

Fans logged more than 800 million page views that spent 2.3 billion total minutes, up 215 percent and 323 percent respectively compared to the 2010 edition of the tournament. On mobile, the brand saw a 678 percent growth in total page views (to more than 445 million) and a staggering 981 percent growth in total minutes (to nearly 855 million minutes) via mobile devices, compared to the tournament two years ago.

The conclusion of the CLT20 begins tomorrow with the first semifinal, and a champion will be crowned in the final on Sunday, Oct. 28.

In the US, ESPN3 will have exclusive live coverage of the matches, making them available to 74 million households nationwide at no additional cost. ESPN Caribbean and will also be covering the semifinals and final live from South Africa.

In the podcast above, Front Row spoke with Sambit Bal, the editor in chief of ESPNcricinfo, the world’s leading cricket digital destination, to gather his thoughts on the tournament, and, what ESPNcricinfo is doing to cover this exciting growing form of the game.

The podcast interview was conducted by Tristan O’Carroll in London.

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