Neo Sports Broadcast has upped its advertising revenue targets for the October-December period to Rs 310 crore from the earlier Rs 285 crore with the forthcoming India-Australia and India-England series. Airtel has come on board as presenting sponsor, while associate sponsors are Hero Honda, Toyota, Coca-Cola, Nivea, Pidilite, Royal Bank of Scotland and HDFC Standard Life.
Neo Cricket will be airing the India-Australia series comprising four Tests from October 9, and the India-England series comprising seven ODIs and two Tests from November 14.
A record eight sponsors are on board for the India-Australia Test series, which is expected to break all previous ratings records. Sanjay Bhoer, VP - Marketing & Sales Strategy, Neo Sports, said that the previous highest TRP garnered by an India-Australia Test series was 3.70 for the famous 2004 series. (Source: TAM TG: CS Males SEC ABC 15 yrs+, All India). This time Neo Cricket expects to achieve a record 4.0 to 4.25 average TRP and a peak of 11+, compared to a peak of 9.71 in 2004.
According to an official statement, this exceptional response had prompted Neo Sports Broadcast to up the target amount to Rs 310 crore, approximately 90 per cent of which was expected to come from the two major international series and the rest from domestic cricket.
Sunil Manocha, Executive Vice President – Advertising Revenue, Neo Sports Broadcast, said, “The India-Australia rivalry is now the biggest in the game of cricket driving this unprecedented interest. We are proud to be associated with all our sponsors and are happy to be able to provide an advertising platform to them.”
He further said, “As per law, the Test series are not being shared, whereas ODIs are meant to be shared and would be shared. Meanwhile, the domestic season has also commenced with the Irani Trophy in the last week of September. This would be followed by the Challenger Series, which are basically four day-night ODIs between the second and third Test matches, followed by the Ranji Cup. Of the overall revenues, we expect to garner about 10 per cent from the domestic tournament.
Speaking on future tournaments, Manocha said, “We have the whole BCCI cricket with us till 2010. All cricket that is being played in India, which is BCCI cricket, is with Neo Sports.”
He added, “The India-Australia series is basically going to generate a lot of interest for the simple reason because in terms of competition between two sides, the position that Pakistan earlier held is now held by Australia. And that is going to generate a huge amount of spectator and viewer interest. We are hoping that this series will bypass all earlier TVR numbers.”
Meanwhile, Neo has raised the 10-second spot rates to over Rs 100,000 for the Tests series against Australia and England, and to over Rs 400,000 for the ODIs. Depending on the size of the package, during the Australia series each sponsor will invest between Rs 6 crore and Rs 9 crore, and between Rs 10 crore and Rs 15 crore during the England series, which will have nine matches in all.
During this cricket season, viewers will get unprecedented coverage with Neo Cricket launching the first ever cricket telethon, with 24-hour coverage of the Australia series, consisting apart from the live coverage of the match, two hours of wrap around programming with the Extra Cover show, two versions of highlights, nightly Sports Zone specials, nightly specials of Dial C for Cricket, and late night full match replays.