ESS may earn up with Rs 4 bn from ICC Cricket World Cup

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ESPN Star Sports (ESS) could land up with an advertising revenue in the region of Rs 3.5 billion to Rs 4 billion, according to preliminary estimates made by Indiantelevision.com.

Media buyers spoken to say that ESS, which has gone to the market for the cricket World Cup, is asking for around Rs 600 million for a co-presenter and Rs 480 -500 million for an associate sponsorship.

“They are testing the waters at this point. We are talking to them. The rate they are quoting comes to around Rs 350,000 per 10 seconds. For us this might be worth it for the India games. For the non India games, though it doesn’t make sense,” says a buyer.

An ESS spokesperson declined to offer any comment.

An ICC partner who is negotiating with ESS says that he expects the rate to settle at around Rs. 200,000 with sponsorships going for between Rs. 300-350 million. “With ESS, we have a performance based slab agreement. There certainly will be a lot of noise and activity around the event,” he elaborated.

The World Cup tournament will be crucial for ESS in terms of how they fare vis-a-vis their investment in ICC cricket. In 2007, ESS had paid $1.1 billion for the rights for eight years. Interestingly this time around, India is also with Bangladesh in the group stage. The other teams in India’s group include South Africa, England and West Indies.

Some advertisers might look for performance related deals.

Who are the clients that will be interested? Finance and insurance companies will latch on to this opportunity as the World Cup takes place at the end of the fiscal. “They will want visibility to push their tax saving schemes. Telecom will be active. Two-wheelers will also look to come on board,” says an industry observer.

It will be interesting to see how Pepsi, an International Cricket Council (ICC) partner, uses this event. A buyer says that ICC partners will likely come on board on-air as well since the event is taking place in India. For Pepsi, though, the event is taking place during the non season period.

“Certainly there will be a lot of noise on the ground. I expect a 35 per cent viewership growth compared to the 2007 edition when it was in the West Indies. The question is the price,” says the buyer.

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