The ICC World Cup 2011 is ready to kick off in four days and even as media observers are questioning whether there is enough pre-World Cup buzz, one of the Associate Sponsors, Airtel Digital TV is all geared to make the most of the biggest cricket battle.
Last week, Airtel Digital TV, the DTH service from Bharti Airtel, announced that it has crossed the five million customers mark on its platform in 21 months of full scale national operations. The DTH operator has now joined hands with Sony India to expand the Flat panel TV viewing opportunity this cricket season.
Speaking to exchange4media, Sugato Banerji, Chief Marketing Officer, DTH Services, Bharti Airtel, said, “During the last Cricket World Cup and Indian Premier League (IPL), we saw a significant leap of sales in cricket-focussed parts. On an average, DTH industry adds close to a million customers every month. Airtel Digital TV, for last seven quarters, has one-in-every-four customers, who subscribe to DTH and we expect this growth to be maintained. In the 90 days of heavy cricket, we are looking at intensive visibility, generating hype in sales of television sets, especially HD sets.”
Banerji informed that Airtel Digital TV has installed HD demo boxes in Sony Centers, created a bundled cricket pack and supported this with its on-going TV campaign with celebrities endorsing HD. The bait to consumers is watching the nation’s favourite sport in high definition. The television ad campaign too is directed at high-definition TV viewing experience, featuring female actor Kareena Kapoor. The campaign was released first in English and Hindi, followed by South regional channels and will continue for the duration of this quarter. The campaign has been created by JWT Delhi and directed by Shaad Ali.
It may be noted that a television commercial and SMS advertisement that talks about the regional pack service calling it ““Free regional pack for lifetime”, while the DTH license is valid up to May 2018, has come under the radar of the ASCI (Advertising Standards Council of India) dubbing the ad misleading. The advertisements have been rectified.
Nonetheless, Airtel Digital TV is high on sports and specifically the forthcoming World Cup. In an official note, Banerji, said, “Sporting events and festive occasions have always been welcome catalysts for the DTH industry. With back-to-back sporting action that includes the World Cup, T20, high profile test series with England and West Indies, we believe this offering will be a valuable proposition for both existing and new entrants to the category. DTH is making many buy their first TV set and we see a huge upside to the DTH category and Airtel Digital TV will continue to lead this category expansion.”