ICC claims to be most popular sport for video views on Facebook

The International Cricket Council is claiming to be the most popular sport for video views on Facebook.

An analysis of ICC content by Facebook-owned analytics and monitoring platform CrowdTangle claims the governing body registered 1.65 billion video views in the first half of 2020, making it the number one sports body judged by this metric on the platform.

The ICC study defined a sports body as an international federation, sports league or any property that has a social media account for a World Cup or World Championship event. The governing body was not comparing its social media performance with individual teams and franchises such as the leading English Premier League or US major league teams.

The same analysis claims interactions on the ICC Facebook page were more than two-and-a-half times higher than the other leading leagues and sports bodies by this definition across the world during the April-June lockdown period.

The ICC generates the lion’s share of its digital engagement in the Indian sub-continent. The governing body said the single-most engaged day in its history took place when Bangladesh beat India in the final of the U19 Cricket World Cup in February 2020, generating 4.4 million interactions.

The U19 tournament generated 747 million video views across ICC digital media assets which the ICC claims represents 700 per-cent growth from the 2018 edition.

The governing body added that the Women’s T20 World Cup in Australia in March received a total of 1.1 billion views across all platforms, a 1,900-per-cent increase on the 2018 edition, making it the second-most watched ICC event. The final of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 also recorded the most single-day views on the ICC Facebook page (64.9 million) since records began.

The ICC said the 2019 Men’s Cricket World Cup was its most successful event ever with 4.6 billion video views across all of the ICC’s channels.

The cricket body said it has reacted to the Covid-19 pandemic by producing nostalgic, snackable content. As a result, it said daily video consumption on Facebook jumped from 3 million minutes viewed to 15 million minutes per day outside of ICC live events.

ICC chief executive Manu Sawhney said: “The combination of one of the world’s most-watched sports with one of the world’s largest platforms is proving exciting for the growth of cricket consumption. These numbers are testimony to the fact that cricket truly has the power to connect and engage more deeply with diverse audiences around the world. We will continue to enhance these engagements and serve the global cricket fan with exciting content at the back of this partnership.”