High TV Ratings, Packed Venues as Indonesians Show Enthusiasm for 2018 Asian Games


AUGUST 26, 2018

Jakarta. The 2018 Asian Games captured the attention of many Indonesians, who are currently glued to their television screens to watch matches, or flock to sports venues to catch a glimpse of their heroes.

The live television broadcast of the opening ceremony in Jakarta on Aug. 18 was watched by 14 percent of the country's total viewership, according to Nielsen Indonesia.

The extravagant show, broadcast between 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., was watched by 57 percent of all viewers – mostly middle-aged women – who had their televisions on at that time.

Broadcasts of Asian Games matches, particularly those involving Indonesian athletes, also consistently score high ratings.

The football match between Indonesia and Laos at Patriot Chandrabhaga Stadium in Bekasi, West Java, on Aug. 17, was watched by 9.1 percent of Indonesia's total viewership, or 37 percent or viewers who were watching television at the time, Nielsen said.

In comparison, Indonesian soap operas, or sinetron, which usually dominate television ratings, only attract between 4 percent and 5 percent of the total viewership.

Matches in the badminton mean's team final between Indonesia and China last week drew 7.9 percent of the total viewership, Nielsen said.

"The national pride of the Indonesian audience is also reflected in their enthusiasm to watch every sports match at the Asian Games," Nielsen Indonesia marketing communication director Miladine Lubis said in a statement on Thursday (24/08).

Nielsen conducted the survey using data collected by its Peoplemeter devices, installed in more than 2,200 households in 11 cities, that automatically record what programs people watch.

Indonesians' enthusiasm for the event can also be seen at the various sports venues in the host cities, Jakarta and Palembang, South Sumatra.

This enthusiasm can is also reflected in long queues at the official 2018 Asian Games merchandise store at Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta. The store sells copies of the Asian Games mascots, known as Kaka, Bhin-Bhin and Atung, for between Rp 70,000 and Rp 5 million ($4.80-$340), in addition to commemorative coins and replica medals.

People queuing outside Super Store, the official 2018 Asian Games merchandise shop, at Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta on Wednesday. (Antara Photo/Widodo S. Jusuf)

Tickets for Asian Games events are regularly completely sold out, with some enthusiasts often queuing for more than eight hours to purchase tickets for matches in some of the more popular sports in Indonesia, such as badminton, football and volleyball.

Heavy traffic congestion was also reported on the Jakarta-Cikampek Toll Road ahead of Friday's quarterfinal football match between Indonesia and Wibawa Mukti Stadium in East Cikarang, Bekasi, due to residents flocking to the area to show their support for the national team.