The India-Pakistan cricket series is turning out to be a bigger draw than the last World Cup for colour television manufacturers. Nearly a million colour televisions are expected to be sold in the current month.
This is almost 20 per cent more than the 830,000 colour televisions sold during the cricket World Cup in March last year. Sales during January and February this year hovered around the 700,000 mark.
Leading producers like LG, Samsung and Videocon, accounting for more than a half of the 9-million-units-a-year colour television market, are expecting sales to go up 20 per cent in March.
“This month we are expecting our sales to increase 20 per cent over the same period last year. Sales in April will also be on the same lines because of the upcoming Test matches,” said a Samsung spokesperson.
The company is the title sponsor of the series and is running several promotional campaigns centered on it.
“The World Cup was spread over two months whereas the India-Pakistan one-day series had just five days of action. The growth shows the high level of interest in Indo-Pak games,” she added.
“In March 2003, we sold 285,000 units. This year it has gone up to 350,000 units. I’m confident April is going to be bigger,” said VN Dhoot, chairman, Videocon International.
However, market leader LG Electronics, which lost out in the sponsorship bid, sought to downplay the effect of cricket on its sales.
The company claimed that last year during the same period it had sold 500,000 units. It said this year the sales had grown marginally to 525,000.
“Cricket is definitely a key sales driver. But the impact of the Indo-Pak series has been surprisingly less on our sales compared with the World Cup, which provided a huge boost,” said CM Singh, head, colour televisions, LG Electronics, India.
Manufacturers said the slew of high-interest cricketing events like the ICC Champions Trophy and Australia and South Africa’s tour to India would help sustain the momentum even after the India-Pakistan series.