afaqs!

Six months of cricket to get Neo Sports Broadcast Rs 1,000 crore revenue

By Sangeeta Tanwar , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | August 24, 2009
Neo Sports Broadcast has exclusive telecast rights for four major ODI and test series, featuring India against Australia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and South Africa, respectively

Beginning September, it will be time for a non-stop cricketing extravaganza on Neo Sports Broadcast, as it has bagged exclusive rights for four major one-day international (ODI) and test series featuring India.

From October 2009 to March 2010, Neo Sports Broadcast will play host to international cricket tournaments: India-Australia (seven ODIs), India-Sri Lanka (five ODIs and three test-match series), India-Bangladesh (two test-match series) and India South-Africa (five ODIs and three test-match series).

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Its cricket focused channel, Neo Cricket will begin by telecasting the inaugural Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Corporate Trophy, scheduled to take place in September 2009. The tournament is a brainchild of BCCI and various corporates. The idea behind the BCCI Corporate Trophy is to honour and encourage Indian international cricketers' presence as employees in top corporates, such as Air India and BSNL.

Speaking to afaqs!, Prasana Krishnan, chief operating officer, Neo Sports Broadcast, says, "In the coming six months, we have set for ourselves a revenue target of Rs 1,000 crore. Out of this, about Rs 650-700 crore will come be in the form of advertising revenue, and the remaining Rs 300 crore or so will be made up by subscription revenue."

Prasana is confident that in a long window period of six months, where competing channels do not have any property involving one of the most loved sports, cricket, Neo Sports Broadcast will enjoy a definite edge with advertisers.

A 10-second spot on the channel is priced between Rs 4-5 lakh, which is at par with Indian Premier League (IPL) matches.

Prasana claims that on an average, ratings delivered by international cricket matches are higher by 50 to 60 per cent, as compared to IPL matches. The last IPL tournament garnered, on an average, around 4.2 TRPs. On the other hand, an India-Australia day-night match is capable of delivering as high as 7-8 TRPs.

Without revealing costs for broadcast sponsor or title sponsor, Prasana shares that it's difficult to put an exact figure to it, as deals with sponsors depend on volume of ad spots taken and frequency.

Neo Sports Broadcast is promoting all the upcoming properties aggressively on its own network, comprising Neo Cricket and Neo Sports. It has taken up ad-space in leading English, Hindi and regional publications. It began its promotional campaign by building excitement around the upcoming series through advertisements in The Times of India, Hindustan Times and regional publications, including leading Tamil daily, Dinakaran.

It will also initiate cross promotions on select news and youth channels.

The international cricketing calendar on Neo Cricket will be augmented by domestic cricket tournaments such as the Ranji, Duleep and Irani Trophies.

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