MAX is wooing the advertisers with customized ad packages. The USP over DD? Lower ad clutter and value additions. The channel claims it has already locked-in 45-50% of ad inventory.
MAX is offering client-specific advertising packages for World Cup 2003, instead of a flat ad structure. Says Rohit Gupta, Executive Vice President, Sales & Revenue Management, Sony network, "Our packages are client-specific. Depending on the secondage a client is looking at, we develop a package. Quite a few things need to be considered. One of the important considerations is, whether they want to be present on live telecast only or on non-live specials as well".
All the same, MAX does have three packages for its advertisers depending on the number of matches they choose. There is a package of 54 matches, and two packages of 37 matches each. Gupta claims that 45 to 50% of total ad inventory for World Cup is already sold. According to him, a lot of interest is being shown by petroleum, FMCG and financial sectors.
Will this interest be converted into reality? Or, the ad rates will make the advertisers look towards Doordarshan? Gupta denies that MAX rates are far higher than DD. Says he, "They are asking for about Rs 1, 50,000 per 10 seconds. Our rates are 5 to 10% higher than that. But the value adds we provide are far more in comparison. DD has about two hundred spots on offer per day, while we have close to 140 spots. It makes a big difference in a seven hour match." Industry sources peg the ad rates on MAX for World Cup at about Rs 1,70,000 per 10 seconds.
On the eighteen days when there are two simultaneous matches, one of them would be aired on SET. However, Gupta does not think that it could be a turnoff for the regular soap-watchers on the channel. Says he, "They are day matches, and would go on till about 9.30 pm. Our prime time programming will start at 9.30. We have just shifted the prime time band by half an hour - that is it."
Gupta believes that World Cup telecast on the channel would do even better than ICC Championship trophy, which according to him, was no mean feat. Says he, "Despite all the issues surrounding ICC Championship trophy, we went with 80% sell out. Remaining 20% was not in our control. The team issues went on till the last day - so some of the advertisers who had confirmed booking on us, had to withdraw last minute. Else, we were completely sold out 15 days before the tournament."