Return of Sachin Tendulkar is not enough to pep up advertisers, according to industry watchers.
It’s important for Team India to perform well too, as Madison India general manager Basab Dutta told FE. However, there’s been action in the ad world already over the news of Sachin’s comeback. “The fact that Sachin will play in the Nagpur match has got Reliance into the fold,” a Prasar Bharati official said.
Tendulkar is certainly a brand and his comeback would add value, according to Ms Dutta. “But if Team India does well, the interest level of advertisers would go up further,” she added.
Another media strategist, Starcom executive director Anita Nayyar, said: “Whatever has been bought has been bought already. Sachin’s return may however be a factor for other advertisers to come into the fold.” There may not be any dramatic change in ad bookings, she said. “One good match could change everything though,” Ms Nayyar added.
Since India played well in the last match, that again is a good sign for advertisers, she argued.
The bottomline is that advertisers will come rushing in once Sachin Tendulkar and Team India actually deliver.
“Buying goes on till the last moment,” said a marketing executive of Prasar Bharati.
As for the total ad revenues garnered so far for the two Test series (against Australia and South Africa) and a friendly one-dayer against Pakistan, Prasar Bharati CEO K S Sarma was tight-lipped. “We are quite comfortable is all that I can say.”
As per the agreement between Prasar Bharati and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), the pubcaster would share revenues with the board only if its ad earnings exceed Rs 200 crore.
Even as advertisers have been doing mass bookings for these cricket series, around 10 to 15% of ad inventories are still left, Mr Sarma admitted. A media analyst, however, said that there’s still an ad inventory of around 40%.
The pubcaster entered into an agreement with BCCI, to show the matches against Australia and South Africa live on Doordarshan. The India-Pakistan friendly one-dayer will also be telecast on DD. While Dubai-based Ten Sports is responsible for production of the matches, Sony Entertainment Television is marketing them in other countries.
Prasar Bharati has paid Rs 100 crore as rights fee to BCCI for six Test matches (four against Australia and two against South Africa) and the friendly ODI against Pakistan. According to industry estimates, the pubcaster would earn ad revenues worth Rs 100 crore from the two Test series and an ODI, assuming there are 140 spots a day or roughly 4,000-4,200 seconds. Six Test matches and an ODI translate into 31 days of cricket.
Prasar Bharati would share 50% of the ad income earned over and above Rs 200 crore.
“Anything over and above Rs 200 crore of ad revenues will be shared 50:50 between Prasar Bharati and BCCI,” Mr Sarma had said.
Media strategists did not expect a mad rush for buying ad spots, since these are Test matches, which are less popular than ODIs.
Two, these are day matches, thereby making them less viewer-friendly.