ESPN-STAR Sports (ESS) is all set to cash in on the India-Pakistan cricket series, which has come as an additional tourney in the annual calendar of the BCCI. The broadcaster eyes high earnings from this tournament and is charging a premium from the sponsors, despite the fact that the series has three one-day internationals and two Twenty20 matches.
Also, the channel plans to have about six brands as associate sponsors, at a cost of Rs 9-10 crore each, with an offering of about 360 seconds (for each ODI) and 180 seconds (for each T20) of free commercial time (FCT). ESS is reportedly charging a very huge amount for 10-second slots, too.
On an average, each ODI has about 10,000 seconds of FCT, or about 1,000 slots, while a T20 has about 4,000 seconds of FCT, that is, 400 slots. The channel has set the rate of each slot for the ODIs at Rs 7-8.5 lakh, while the slots in T20 matches are being sold at the rate of Rs 9-10 lakh per slot.
These rates are much higher than those in the current India-England series, which are being sold at about Rs 3.25 lakh per slot (ODI) and Rs 6 lakh per 10-second slot (T20). Thus, it seems that the channel is betting very high on the five-match series.
Marketers believe that the tourney will definitely have a very high brand recall and huge reach. The media analysts also mention that the recent matches between the two countries (an ODI in March and T20 in September, this year) had garnered TVRs in the range of 8-12. The ratings, as per the marketers, are very high, considering the core male TG.
The marketers also point out that nothing big is planned for that period, although it is a vacation time and hence, the viewership is expected to increase.
Interestingly, out of the five matches starting December 25 and ending on January 6, 2013, three are scheduled on holidays. The first ODI is on Christmas Eve, while the first and third T20 are on Sundays (December 30, 2012 and January 6, 2013).
Although the series was not planned initially, it has come the broadcasters' way as the England cricket team will be on a Christmas break from the ongoing India-England series.