ESPN STAR Sports pips MAX, TEN Sports to win Asia Cup telecast rights

By , agencyfaqs! | In | June 17, 2004
Deal clinched at about Rs 70 crore, industry expects channel to earn Rs 100 crore from ad-revenues and licences

The forthcoming Asia Cup cricket tournament promises to be quite a windfall for ESPN STAR Sports.

This is because telecast rights for the tournament include global exclusive television broadcast of the tournament, as well as radio broadcast and on-ground sponsorships. According to conservative estimates, the revenue that ESPN STAR Sports can earn from advertisers (television and in stadia advertisements) and through awarding licenses to third-party broadcasters (both TV and radio) will run up to at least Rs 100 crore.

Although ESPN STAR Sports declined to divulge the quantum of money that it paid to Asian Cricket Council (ACC), the organisers of the Asia Cup tournament, for the telecast rights, industry sources say the deal was clinched around $14 million (Rs 70 crore).

The battle for the telecast rights was a hard-fought one, as all the major sports channels such as ESPN STAR Sports, TEN Sports and MAX had bid for the rights.

Asia Cup is a six-nation contest to be held among India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, the United Arab Emirates and Hong Kong from July 16-August 2.

Explaining the rationale behind awarding the contract to ESPN, Syed Ashraful Huq, CEO, ACC, cites a different reason. He says, "ESPN STAR Sports is known for its quality cricket coverage across key territories in Asia. The channel's large distribution network has also been an important factor to take a decision in its favour."

The programme schedule of Asia Cup will include preview and review shows, special innovations, graphics, exclusive interviews, reports and the ESPN STAR Sports commentary team of the 'Few Good Men', who will be back in full action.

The tournament will be keenly followed by cricket enthusiasts as it is being organised after a gap of four years; it was last held in Dhaka in 2000. What's also noteworthy is the fact that arch-rivals India and Pakistan would again face each other, after the recent Indo-Pak cricket series. Will the Rawalpindi Express manage to tame the Bengal Tiger this time? Or, will it be a case of Indians walloping the Pakistanis all over again?

The contest's timings will be especially conducive for cricket-lovers. Nine out of the 13 one day internationals will be played in the evenings. Since there is no major time difference between India and Sri Lanka, the matches are expected to have a substantial viewership.

Media planners expect a TVR of 4-4.5 during the tournament. According to LS Krishnan, general manager, Maxus India, "A couple of matches will be one-sided as the tournament has weak teams like Bangladesh, Hong Kong and UAE. These matches are expected to have a low viewership."

"At the same time, the matches between India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka are guaranteed to have a great viewership -- especially the finals and the one between India and Pakistan. These matches can even have a TVR of 14-16." © 2004 agencyfaqs!

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