The Indian cricket team may have taken quite a few hard knocks of late, but all that is forgotten - at least by advertisers. The reason: when India is playing Pakistan, it's not just a game.
So advertisers are finding value for money even if they are paying through their nose. Multiple media buyers confirm that the broadcaster is charging Rs 7.5 lakh per 10 seconds for the one day internationals ( ODIs), and Rs 9.5 lakh for the T-20 matches. That's almost double the price of other ODIs, which start on December 25, and T20 matches.
"One ODI has roughly 500-550 spots of 10 seconds each, while a T20 has 220 spots. Seventy per cent of the inventory is taken up by the presenting sponsors and the associate sponsors. As the channel has already closed nine sponsors, it is not open to any negotiations," a national media buyer said on condition of anonymity.
Sanjay Kailash, executive vice-president, ESPN Software India, says the channel has doubled the ad rates as compared to the historical industry average, but advertisers are not complaining.
ESS has already signed four joint presenting sponsors - Havell's, Celikon Impex, Hero Moto Corp and Micromax LED TV. The five associate sponsors are Coca Cola, Vodafone, Karbonn Tablets, Cadbury and Pidilite. The company may sign one more associate sponsor. "There is a minuscule inventory which is yet to be sold but we are confident that the same will be done in the next two days," Kailash says.
However, the ad rates on public broadcaster Doordarshan for the same series have been kept at Rs 1 lakh for the ODIs and Rs 1.25 lakh for the T20 matches. ESS is doing the ad sales for DD also for the series. Earlier, it had bid for Rs 22 crore minimum guarantee for India-Pakistan and India–England series. In return, DD will be paying 75 per cent of the revenue generated from the series.
According to the Sports Broadcasting Signals (Mandatory Sharing with Prasar Bharati) Act, 2007, it is mandatory for the rights holder of any sporting event of national importance to share the feed with the public broadcaster. Doordarshan, in turn, is required to share 75 per cent of the advertisement revenue with the rights holder.
India-Pakisan series, beginning December 25, will be aired on STAR Cricket and STAR Cricket HD with English commentary and on STAR Sports with Hindi feed.