Kerala tend to call it a day quite early; on an average, they go to bed before 10 pm. But August 27, 2004, was different. That night, a large number of people were glued to their television sets till 12.30 am. The reason? Anju Bobby George was competing in the Olympics finals, and the event was being telecast on DD Sports.
TAM Media Research findings indicate that the TVR for this event in Kerala was around 7, while that for the all-India market was 4+. This is especially remarkable, as the ratings weren't the same for the other Olympics telecasts. In fact, the TVRs for the other Olympics events did not touch even 1.
High TVRs were no doubt expected during George's long jump event, as India got media attention in this category, but the exceptional TVRs the event fetched, especially in Kerala, were unprecedented and unexpected.
LV Krishnan, CEO, TAM Media Research, says that a major contribution to the high TVRs was due to the hype created by the print media, which hailed George as a local hero. Krishnan was speaking at the National Sports Seminar organised in the wake of the Tata Indian Sports Journalism Awards, 2006.
Krishnan went on to highlight that this was just one of many examples when the TVRs for sports events witnessed an all-time high as a result of extensive sports coverage in the press. "Print as a medium is very powerful and can sway people to tune in to a sports event," Krishnan asserted.
He further cited the example of the FIFA World Cup 2006, which got high viewership because of the extensive print media coverage, despite cricket matches being telecast simultaneously. In fact, it was cricket that prevented the previous FIFA World Cup (in 2002) from garnering a similarly impressive viewership.
But 2006 was a different story. The FIFA World Cup this year was preceded by extensive press coverage, with most newspapers dedicating around 2.5 pages worth of coverage per day to the event, in the period between June 9 and July 10.
In fact, some major dailies even came out with separate football supplements. "The result was that football, in a rare feat, scored over cricket in India," Krishnan explained. In fact, there was a 300 per cent jump in football viewership even in states other than West Bengal and Kerala (where football events generally do well).
Besides creating curiousity and a connect with the sports event, the press also educates people about it. "Taking up the football example again, people didn't know much about the event or its players, except the regular followers," Krishnan said. "While people identify a Steve Waugh on screen, they didn't know who Ronaldinho was. But thanks to the press photos and news, they started recognising him when he played."
Krishnan then went on to talk about in-sports placements, highlighting that cricket, baseball and Formula 1 are considered to be the most cluttered sports, with reference to brand placements.
Cricket itself allows 26 different platforms for placements, including ground placements such as perimeter boards, logos, T-shirts of players with the brand message on them, and even the replay bug, or the tag on the statistics of players on the screen.
An estimated Rs 520 crore per annum is pumped into gaining brand visibility in a sports event in this manner, Krishnan revealed. He said that sports-related products can seamlessly integrate themselves in a sport, such as energy drinks in the drinks break, but other brands have to work harder.
© 2006 agencyfaqs!