In what is probably a record for a tournament that was played outside India, the FIFA World Cup got over 70 million viewers on Sony Liv, the Economic Times reports. Additionally, users on average spent 15-16 minutes on the stream. The peak concurrency, which is the highest number of streams at a single point, was 2 million. This is around a fifth of Hotstar’s IPL concurrency record of 10.3 million. That’s still a staggering number, considering that India didn’t even qualify for the World Cup this year. Sony Liv’s 70 million is not far behind the 2015 Cricket World Cup’s 87 million total viewers. (This year’s IPL got Hotstar 202 million viewers, a 232% increase from the cricket World Cup three years back.)
The top cities were Kolkata and Cochin, which have a rich history with football — Mumbai clocks in third. “While high viewership from metros was likely, it is heartening to see high viewership coming from cities like Ahmedabad and Lucknow too,” Sony’s Uday Sodhi told ET. Sodhi leads Sony Pictures Networks India’s digital businesses.
Hotstar managed to mostly pull off its tournament without a hitch, while Sony Liv ran into issues, especially during the final. In the US, YouTube TV crashed under the load of demand by users for the FIFA World Cup during a semifinal match between England and Croatia. The Indian streaming services rely heavily on partnerships with established CDNs (content delivery networks), not to mention extremely brutal video compression.
Update: This post previously misstated Sony Liv’s performance during the FIFA World Cup. Users have reported that the service did crash multiple times during games.