The forthcoming Athens Summer Olympic Games may be a huge media event for broadcasters in the West, but in India this event is just not generating revenues for the Government-owned Doordarshan.
So even as the public broadcaster acquired the rights to the Games for Rs 24 crore, it is hoping to generate advertising revenues of about Rs 10 crore. With the cricket season starting in full swing shortly, Prasar Bharati is trying to make the Athens Olympics an attractive advertising option.
While admitting that marketing Olympics is different from selling cricketing events, Prasar Bharati officials maintained that it has already roped in Indian Oil Corporation as the presenting sponsor. Hero Honda and Samsung will be the associate sponsors and talks are on with other potential advertisers.
"A 10-second advertising slot will be available for Rs 60,000 for sporting events on both DD National as well as DD Sports," said the official. DD Sports would be fully dedicated to Olympics, the flagship channel while DD National will air special highlights package.
"Marketing of cricket is fairly straight-jacketed affair as it has a dedicated viewership. In the case of Olympics, viewers will walk-in and walk out of the channel depending on the sporting events beings aired," the official added.
Meanwhile, media planners said that traditionally viewership for Olympics is not very large and is not viewed as a big advertising opportunity in the country. "Except in some pockets of the country, unlike cricket Olympics is not very big. Advertisers do not see it as a major opportunity," said a Mumbai-based media planner.
However in the US, television broadcaster NBC has already announced widening its coverage of the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens and has already sold about 90 per cent of its advertising time. The network, along with affiliates and cable channels, were close to reaching a target of over $1 billion (around Rs 4,595 crore) in advertising sales for the Summer Games.
The event will be aired on several other network channels such as MSNBC, CNBC, Bravo cable channels and Spanish-language network Telemundo.
In India, Doordarshan will be using the grandstand approach wherein it will get six different feeds. "The producer will use the feed that carries the sports preferred by Indians and air them. The channel could also move from one event to another," they added.