India’s sports audience base is pegged at about 67.8 crore, according to a research report by media consulting firm Ormax Media. 

The research surveyed 12,000 respondents across urban and rural India between November 2023 and January 2024. It found that cricket, football and kabaddi are the most popular sports, commanding an audience base of 612 million, 305 million and 208 million, respectively.

Shailesh Kapoor, Founder and CEO, Ormax Media, said, “With an increase in digital consumption, TV viewership is no longer an accurate way of estimating sports consumption in a large and heterogenous country like India.”

According to the report, Chennai Super Kings, Manchester United and Patna Pirates enjoyed the highest recall in each of the top three sports. In IPL, Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore are in the second spot, after Chennai Super Kings.

Virat Kohli is the most popular sportsperson in India. MS Dhoni came second in popularity despite having retired from professional cricket. The report noted there were differences in the popularity of various sports tournaments, franchises and players depending on the demographic and market segments, such as gender, age, New Consumer Classification System (NCCS), population strata, and states.