Sachin Tendulkar’s double century in the second One Day International (ODI) and India’s remarkable victories in both the ODI matches against South Africa have raised the expectations of media planners and the broadcaster in gaining maximum eyeballs. Despite the ad rates being upwards of Rs 3 lakh, Neo Cricket had managed to sell all its inventories even before the series had commenced, bringing much cheer to the advertisers, who had expected the series to be a remarkable success. Even the remaining 5 per cent inventory was sold upwards of Rs 3.5 lakh.
Following the two wins, and with one more ODI to go, the broadcaster expects the ratings to be at 7-8 plus TVR. Media planners, too, are gung ho about the high ratings that this series would garner, though they did not want to comment on the numbers.
Adding to this excitement, Neo Sports will air a Sachin Super Sunday special on February 28 to celebrate the double century by the Master Blaster. With the first ODI seeing a thrilling finish and the second ODI seeing Tendulkar’s double ton, what remains to be seen is whether the news channels could have eaten into the GECs’ shares. While some believe so, others do not see any kind of impact on the GECs or the news channels.
exchange4media spoke to a few media planners and the broadcaster to find out their quick reactions on the results and what it implies for cricket advertising.
What the broadcaster says
According to Raju Udupa, EVP - Advertising Revenue, Neo Sports Broadcast Pvt Ltd, “Cricket advertising in general has grown this season. People were wrong to begin ruling out the ODI ratings as the India-Australia series, and even the India-Sri Lanka series delivered good numbers. Even the test matches were historic. I believe the first two ODI results have been very good for advertising, and also very good for viewers of ODIs. We are expecting ratings of 7-8 plus TVR.”
He further said, “The business is, however, as usual and growing. We had already sold out before the ODIs started and Sachin’s double ton has only helped us create more demand, but there is no supply. Even the 5 per cent inventories that we had saved for the last moment got sold out before the first match itself at super premium rates. Our ad rates have been upwards of Rs 3 lakh for this series, and the last 10-15 per cent were sold upwards of Rs 3.5 lakh.”
Media planners upbeat
Rajneesh Chaturvedi, National Director, MEC Access, observed, “India’s performance and its victory in the first two ODI matches against South Africa only reiterates the confidence of advertisers in cricket. India has been playing well and cricket as a platform makes perfect sense only when Indian is playing well. Given the fact India won both the matches and the first one was a close victory and with the kind of results in both the ODIs, the expectations in terms of viewership/ ratings are much higher.”
Narendra Kumar Alambara, General Manager and Office Head, Starcom Worldwide, Chennai, observed, “There is definite excitement with India winning the first two matches. Advertising in cricket has always been high (especially, those featuring India) and has not flagged much in recent times. Given the hype surrounding IPL3 and the sheer amount of advertising opportunities available, it can only grow now and in the future. Viewership, too, will grow from the current significant levels to maybe slightly higher levels over the next few weeks, peaking with the IPL3 finals. The expectations in terms of ratings will be high, given the context of both the matches – thrilling finish in the first and Sachin special in the second.”
On whether the news channels would eat into the share of GECs, Alambara pointed out, “News as a genre accounts for a much smaller share of the overall viewership pie. While it will grow exponentially for key new-based events (for example, the 26/11 attacks), I am not sure if it will have significant impact based on ODI results, especially on GECs. Growth of the news genre has been slow but steady, with newer players entering and the viewership getting defined over a long period. If anything, the sports channels (telecasting Live cricket) will be the only ones gaining at the expense of GECs.”
According to Kavita Srinivasan, Media Consultant, OMD, “Today, with more and more cricket matches being played, I think the viewership is skewed towards performance of a match rather than the match itself. With more and more cricket being exposed, the likeliness of the game gaining eyeballs might reduce, however, interesting matches like the first two ODIs would definitely garner more eyeballs. I believe the second ODI match, where Sachin Tendulkar scored 200, would definitely be 15-plus TVR, especially in the later stage of the match. The first ODI match, on the other hand, I think would be between 7 and 12 TVR. I definitely see the news channels’ shares eating up the share of GECs, primarily because all those who missed the match would tune into the news channels.”