The Videocon Cup, played between India and Sri Lanka, has once again proved that advertisers' faith in good old cricket is not misplaced. The series has delivered for DD1 and DD Sports, and if a combined rating is seen, it has gone as high as 10 and 12 for the target CS 15+, and for the male TG, TRPs are as high as 12 and 15. According to industry experts, for sponsors and advertisers present on both channels, Videocon Cup delivered the 'bang for the buck'.
The Videocon Cup was designed as a series of seven matches played between the two countries in India. The matches were shown simultaneously on both DD 1 and DD Sports. TAM Media Research shows that the series has allowed the channel shares for both DD 1 and DD Sports to soar. Looking at cumulative ratings for both the channels, the first One Day International threw 5.71, the second 6.91 and the third gave a 7.89. In the male TG, this increases to 7.1, 8.8 and 9.79, respectively.
The fourth and fifth matches are the highest with the CS 15 + seeing 9.82 and 11.69. The male TG scored 12.2 and 15.13 for these matches. The series has visibly eaten into other genres, with STAR Plus' 'KBC 2' seeing an all time low rating of 5 plus on the day.
The deciding moment of the series had culminated by this time and it was known that India had won the Cup. The sixth and seventh matches were played, nonetheless, as per the rules and the ratings from these were 6.88 and 7.83 – the male TG delivering 7.99 and 9.63. Even as the ratings between both the channels are almost equally divided, in some cases, there is a slight tilt to DD Sports.
"These are very good numbers," said Nandini Dias, VP, Lodestar Media. "They are above expectations and bring back the point that cricket is the game for impact. Even though the property sees its downside often enough, there are these instances which restore the faith in the game."
"There is no better way to get this kind of male TG at one go," added Pradeep Iyengar, National Buying Head, Carat Media. "I have always said that cricket is a strong property going stronger and this reiterates the fact."
What these experts point out is that the advertisers who really benefited from this series are the sponsors like Videocon, the people with on-ground presence like LG and even the spot advertisers who bought the matches on both the channels.
"Because they got the volumes," explained Lakshmi Narasimhan, National Director, CTG, GroupM, "We cannot forget that it is the numbers of both the channels put together that has delivered the impact for the advertiser. If you see advertisers present on any one channel, they have only half the benefit."
Pointing out the reasons that have worked for the match, Dias brings focus back on the fact that all said and done, the unpredictable nature of the game cannot be taken away from it.
"For this match, most of the elements were right. Plus, in cricket, the pitch can make all the difference. It's not like tennis or football where the field is standard. This brings in its own contribution in the outcome of a match. With India playing on home ground and the pitch working in favour of the team, the results have been a positive one. In addition to that, the team was playing well and in all everything was in favour of a good game," she said.
"Nonetheless, can anyone take a bet on how the next series of cricket delivers? Not really. We would still be excited or disappointed from the next game – even if it involves India," asserted Dias.
"We need to be careful of the game," Iyengar said, adding, "It should not just be used for absolutely anything. Cricket has to be used tactfully, depending on the objective of the client concerned. Even though at present most of the people don't look at it in that light, this is the way it is going to be going forward."
According to Narasimhan, "Cricket was and will be a powerful property. It is still a passion with Indians and as long as that is the case, the property will continue to be a sought after proposition for advertisers. The show has eaten into big ticket properties like 'KBC 2' – that is proof enough of the faith that Indians have in cricket – let alone the advertising fraternity."
Not that the performance of the Videocon Cup kills the cricket debate. If anything at all, it re-establishes that neither can monies be blindly invested in the property nor can cricket be written off completely.
A commonly stated grief in regards to the cricket has been the over-pricing of the property. For media experts, that too continues to be a problem. However, as far as the Videocon Cup is concerned, experts declare that the series did prove to be cost effective.