Neo Sports Broadcast Pvt Ltd is all geared up for the back to back cricket series on its channel, beginning first week of September and continuing till March 2010. Neo Cricket has a number of cricket tournaments lined up – the BCCI Corporate Trophy (September 1-8), the India-Australia ODI series in October, the India-Sri Lanka three Test and five ODI series in November-December 2009, the Tri Series featuring India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in December 2009, the India-South Africa series involving five ODIs and three Tests from January through March 2010.
With so much cricketing action lined up, Neo Sports is targeting over Rs 650-700 crore in advertising revenues, and in addition to this, the broadcasting company is also eyeing over Rs 300 crore revenues from subscriptions, bringing the overall revenue target to nearly Rs 1,000 crore this year. The broadcaster has also set up a GRP target of 5,000-plus.
Meanwhile, it is learnt that Neo Sports is looking at ad rates in the range of Rs 4.5 lakh to Rs 5 lakh per 10 seconds as of today, which is considered to be higher than what Sony had charged for the Indian Premier League.
In conversation with exchange4media, Prasana Krishnan, COO, Neo Sports Broadcast Pvt Ltd, said, “We are all geared up for six months of international cricket season back to back, all of which will be exclusive on Neo Sports. We are looking at Rs 650-700 crore revenue targets through this season. We are looking at ad rates in the range of Rs 4.5 lakh to Rs 5 lakh and that’s where we are right now. We have a GRP target of 5,000 this year, too, keeping in mind the volume of cricket all through March next year.”
Krishnan further explained, “From the viewers’ perspective, attraction of cricket and its popularity remains as high as ever, if not growing, because clearly the Indian team’s performance has been consistent and good, and this year will see home season again, wherein we are looking at three out of four seasons being at home. And as it always happens, home ratings are higher because there is a greater level of attachment and, therefore, the buzz and the excitement will be higher.”
According to Krishnan, for the advertisers, clearly there was an opportunity for them to associate with cricket for the season and get not only incremental mileage, but also incremental value, which every advertiser wanted. “Broadly, it’s going to be one of the biggest seasons of cricket and we are looking at Rs 650-700 crore in ad revenues. In addition to this, we are also looking at around over Rs 300 crore in revenues from subscription,” he added.
Krishnan believes that the market has recovered from last year and things are definitely looking up and that even the advertisers are back with a bang, spending big money. “The deliveries from sports are consistent and growing, so there may be temporary blips like last year, but that’s an aberration. Nevertheless, the long term plans of cricket have been only growing and we are back on track. I still see sports growing 19-21 per cent this year as compared to the industry growth of around 11-13 per cent of the overall media pie. Thus, clearly sports has been outperforming the industry,” Krishnan pointed out.