afaqs!

Neo Cricket targets Rs 150 crore from India-South Africa cricket series

By Sangeeta Tanwar , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | January 29, 2010
The India-South Africa cricket series will begin on February 6; it comprises three ODIs and three Test matches

Neo Cricket is busy putting together sponsors for the forthcoming India-South Africa cricket series, which begins on February 6.

The series consists of three ODIs (one day internationals) and two Test matches. Sources close to the development reveal that the channel expects net revenue of Rs 150 crore from the cricket series. The total advertising inventory for the India-South Africa cricket series is about 5,000 seconds.

& #BANNER1 & #Neo Cricket has already roped in a host of sponsors for the property. Currently, the channel has eight sponsors on board. Tata Indicom, Coca-Cola and Micromax Mobile have been roped in as co-presenting sponsors. Others, including Volkswagen, HDFC Standard Life, Citi Credit Card, Perfetti and JK Cement have come on board as associate sponsors.

With a week to go for the series, the channel is on the verge of closing sponsorship deals with a two-wheeler brand and a white goods brand for the three ODIs and two Test matches. The cost of a 10 second ad spot for the series is estimated to be upwards of Rs 3 lakh.

Speaking to afaqs!, Prasana Krishnan, chief operating officer, Neo Sports Broadcast, says, "2010 will be an action packed year for us. As of now, we have three confirmed India tours. The India-South Africa series will be followed by two other cricket series involving India-Australia and India-New Zealand."

Neo Cricket is promoting and positioning the India-South Africa cricket series as the World Championship of Cricket because it's a clash between world's No.1 cricket team, India and the No. 2 team, South Africa. According to the latest ICC ODI Cricket Rankings, India tops the ranking chart by registering 3957 points and is followed by South Africa in the second place, with 3672 points.

Krishnan shares that through the year, Neo Cricket broadcasts nearly 50 days of international cricket and 70 days of domestic cricket. According to him, the success of some recent international cricket series, including last year's India-Australia cricket series, prove that the format continues to rule and grow. This is a heartening development for Neo Cricket.

The channel is in a strong position to cash in on the popularity of the sport for the next four years, courtesy the recent content deal struck between Nimbus Communications and BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India).

Nimbus Communications markets the media rights for international cricket tours to various broadcasters, including Neo Sports Broadcasts' dedicated cricket channel, Neo Cricket. As per the agreement, Nimbus Communications has secured the media rights for all international cricket tours staged by the BCCI and 78 days of BCCI domestic cricket events every year till 2014.

Krishnan hopes that with a packed cricketing calendar, Neo Cricket will attract eyeballs and advertisers with its properties.

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