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Indo-Pak series a big commercial hit

23-February-2004
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Indo-Pak series a big commercial hit

Cricketmania of a different kind is doing the rounds in the subcontinent. The interest generated by the forthcoming Indo-Pak series may soon eclipse the excitement and hype of last year's cricket World cup. Sponsors and advertisers are loosening their purse-strings to get the visibility that an Indo-Pak series alone can offer. Ten Sports, the official broadcaster, is expected to garner revenues to the tune of Rs 115.

"Media planners are falling over one another to take advantage of the opportunity. The biggest advantage is that the event will aggregate viwership at one place. Obviously, the key is to have a sizeable pie of the visibility cake," says IMG/TWI managing director (South Asia) Ravi Krishnan.

Companies are paying 100 per cent premium for spot buys over what they pay for other one-day internationals. The two presenting sponsors — Samsung and Bajaj Auto — have shelled out Rs 11 crore each to Ten Sports. In addition to the committed airtime, the two will get vantage visibility slots like action replay, hawk eye and straight drive.

According to estimates, advertisers will be paying Ten Sports $18,000 to $20,000 per 30 second spots for one-day matches. The rate for Tests is about $6,000.

Talking to the Hindustan Times, Ten Sports programming chief Peter Hutton said, "We'll have one hour shows before and after the games. Navjot Sidhu will be joining the Ten Sports team for the first time."

The Cup has been named Samsung Cup. "Samsung India has earmarked an ad budget of around Rs 60 crore for the series. This includes the sponsorship as well as the presenting media sponsor status on Ten Sports. As the title sponsor, the company will get brand signage on the ground, branding on the sidescreen, and match tickets," according to Samsung India director sales R. Zutshi.

Moreover, a new Team Samsung commercial under the Jit Lo Dil theme will be aired during the series. This will feature Rahul Dravid, Sehwag, Irfan Pathan and Mohammed Kaif. The company will also release some product commercials during the series.

In addition, the seven associate sponsors — Hutch, GlaxoSmithKline, Indian Oil Corporation, Hero Cycle, Pepsi, LG Electronics and Maruti — have paid Rs 75 lakh each to Ten Sports. And they are busy chalking out special campaigns for the series.

"As during the World Cup and the series with Australia and New Zealand, we will be doing the video replays. We will also bring the critical clips of the matches to our GPRS subscribers during the series," said Hutch vice-president, marketing Harit Nagpal.

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