With the India-Pakistan series commencing on November 5, many would have thought that changes in the sponsor line-up on the series, just a day before the matches, wouldn’t have really made sense. However, as it turns out, that is precisely what has happened with Neo Sports, with DD announcing on November 2 that it would market its own feed. This means that Neo Sports and DD are marketing their individual feeds.
Its has been understood that DD has underwritten Rs 81.25 crore net to Neo Sports for marketing the series, and that whatever surplus comes on this, 75 per cent of that would be given to Neo Sports.
The change in sponsor line-up with this would see the likes of Pidilite, S Kumar’s, LG, HDFC Standard Life and Nokia going away from Neo Sports. The co-presenting sponsors now are Future Group, Reliance Communication, Aditya Birla Group and 9X. The associate sponsors are UltraTech, Perfetti Van Melle, Raymonds and Hero Honda. Gujarat Ambuja is action-replay sponsor, Standard Chartered continues association as data graphics partners, while Fiat is Speed-Gun sponsor.
What is the impact of DD marketing its own feed on Neo Sports? Sunil Manocha, Senior VP-Advertising Revenues, Neo Sports, explained, “I don’t think this would impact Neo Sports as such. If you look at the DD rate cards, it is at Rs 3 lakh per 10 seconds for spot buy, and then there is a different package for presenting sponsors. We are selling anywhere between Rs 1.90-2.10 lakh per seconds for spot buys. With both of us selling independently, the combined revenues would be on the higher side.”
Neo Sports has been working more on its distribution since the India-Australia matches. Manocha said, “We were then contributing about 40 per cent of viewership to the overall C&S viewing in markets like Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Bangalore. Now our distribution has increased and we would be contributing at least 55 per cent in these markets, and these are important markets. Some of the smart advertisers have seen that and hence are on the channel.”