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Now, advertisers’ bouncer at Ten

19-March-2004
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Now, advertisers’ bouncer at Ten

There’s no room for negotiation on ad rates, according to advertisers as well as sources close to the exclusive telecast rights holder to the ongoing Indo-Pak cricket series, Ten Sports. Ten CEO Chris McDonald did not rule out the possibility of a negotiation with the advertisers, after the apex court, on Wednesday, ordered the Dubai-based channel to share its cricket signals with DD. He had, however, said, “it would be challenging to do so (renegotiate). Even as the Ten Sports cricket signal would have a much wider reach now through the DD platform, advertisers were sticking by their contracts, said industry sources.

It is learnt that advertisers are of the view that it’s too late to revise the contract and that the DD reach doesn’t impact them. So, there’s no room for renegotiation on ad rates, they have conveyed clearly. At a press conference after the Supreme Court order on Wednesday, Mr McDonald had indicated that the channel would take a decision on whether to talk to advertisers over rates.

When contacted, the spokesperson for Samsung, a title sponsor of the series, categorically said there’s no revision in ad rates, and added that the contract was signed last year. “Renegotiation, if at all, could be with spot buyers, and not with the sponsors,” an industry source said. Also, the channel could possibly try out a better deal for the last-minute ad inventories, they added.

Ten Sports is understood to have done a total airtime (on TV) sales worth Rs 125 crore to Rs 130 crore. During the ongoing series, Ten is learnt to have booked ads at Rs 5 lakh per 10 seconds. DD, on the other hand, booked ads for Rs 2 lakh per 10 seconds on the first match day, when it inserted its own ads and didn’t carry the Ten logo for the first 16 overs.

Ten Sports had bid for the five-year cricket telecast rights in Pakistan for around $45 million some two years ago, but DD had not. When Indo-Pak matches were announced recently, DD sprung into action and demanded the terrestrial rights to the series. Exclusive rights holder Ten Sports and DD have been in the midst of the rights battle, ever since.

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