Mumbai: The Indian Super League (ISL) has helped spark immense interest in football in India, ever since its inception in 2014 says an independent study conducted by YouGov SportsIndex.
Over 64 per cent of youth in the country are interested in football among other sports in 2019 as compared to only 27 per cent in 2013. The popularity of the sport has seen a 137 per cent spike among Indians ever since the ISL began according to the survey.
According to data from BARC, the ISL enjoys far greater audience in India than the English Premier League, 2018 FIFA World Cup and the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup combined.
More than 270 million tune in to watch India's premier football league on television while the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia was only consumed by 111 million.
The 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup which was held in India had a viewership of 68 million while the English Premier League grabs only 18 million Indian eyeballs on television.
In the past six years, football has gained massive ground in the country despite cricket being the undisputed number one sport. Football is now the second-most favourite sport among urban teenagers with 32.3 per cent aspiring to be one, behind cricket, which is a preferable career choice for 41.1 per cent.
The sixth season of ISL has seen a 15.36 per cent growth in impressions as the FSDL-organised league has had an average TVT of 32 Lakhs in the first twenty games of the season as compared to 27 Lakhs at the same stage in season 2018-19, BARC states.