Ten Sports will telecast the three-nation One-Day International cricket series to be played from July 30 to August 9, 2005. Indian Oil Coprporation (IOC) will be the title sponsor of the series to be played between hosts Sri Lanka, India and the West Indies.
Chris McDonald, CEO, Taj Television Limited, which owns the Ten Sports channel, said, “Sponsorship is the lifeblood of any sport and we are very excited to have the expertise and support of Indian Oil as title sponsor.”
In order to ensure that the monsoon does not play spoilsport, rain forecasts have been considered while scheduling the matches. According to Peter Hutton, Senior VP-Programming, Taj Television, “It is very essential to consider important parameters like time of the day and day of the week in order to get a bigger audience for viewership. We have taken care of these issues.”
Commenting on the advertising revenues, Hutton said, “I can say that the advertising revenues have been more than what we had expected.”
Brushing aside the possibility of a fall in viewership owing to the game show KBC2 clashing with a few of the matches, Sharmista Rijhwani, Managing Director, Taj Television India, said, “Cricket is a religion in India and it will be quite some time before popular mass entertainment shows affect the viewership of a cricket event in this country.”
Commenting on sports other than cricket gathering ground, Rijhwani said, “Tennis is opening up in India and with more Indian achievements across various sports, surely they will gather more importance.”
Dr. N.G. Kannan, Director (Marketing), Indian Oil Corporation Limited, said, “With competition setting in, we have decided to focus on brand building, for which association with cricket is the first step. We are in the process of building nine brands, six of which will be in the retail category.”
Last year, Indian Oil sponsored the Asia Cup in Sri Lanka and co-sponsored the historic India-Pakistan series.
A new logo, worked on by Indian Oil’s creative agency Rediffusion DY&R, was also unveiled jointly by Kannan, Rijhwani and cricketer Irfan Pathan. The logo, according to Kannan, represents the dynamism and the power of the game. The Cup for the series will be known as the Indian Oil Cup.