Sony gets 15 sponsors on board for India-Australia series; 70-75% inventory sold

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Anupama Ahluwalia, VP – Coca-Cola India & South West Asia

As per industry experts, the broadcaster is likely to earn Rs 300-350 crore revenue from TV

Sony Pictures Sports Network (SPSN) is all set to broadcast Team India’s first cricket series in the new normal. Team India’s tour of Australia will commence on November 27, 2020 and will be aired live on Sony Ten 1, Sony Ten 3 and Sony Six channels. For the tournament, Sony has already signed close to 15 sponsors, including six ‘Co-presenting’ sponsors.

The six Co-presenters of the series are Maruti Suzuki India, My11Circle, Byju’s, and Vimal Pan Masala. The Associate Sponsors are Mondelez, Pernod Ricard, MRF, SBI Mutual Fund, Netflix, Ather Energy, Dettol, Car24, PharmEasy and MP Birla Cement. The broadcaster is in the process of closing more brands before the series begins.

“India- Australia being the first bilateral series (in the new normal conditions following the Covid outbreak), the response from the advertisers has been huge. We have got close to 15-16 sponsors on board. Post IPL, there was a little worry whether advertisers are willing to spend the money. We thought it was a challenge, but fortunately, we have got a phenomenal response from the advertisers for the series. We are nearly 70-75% sold out. We are expecting 30-35% growth in revenues from TV over the last series,” said Rohit Gupta, President, Sony Pictures Networks India.

The highly anticipated tour, which will be the first international cricket series for Virat Kohli’s team India after a gap of almost nine months, comprises three ODIs, three T20s and four Tests.

According to sources in the industry, the ad rates for a 10-second slot for the TV telecast of the series are in the range of Rs 7-7.5 lakh for T20s, Rs 1-2 lakh for Tests and Rs 5-6 lakh for the ODIs. The sources estimate that Sony could be earning approximately Rs 300-350 crore from this series.

Talking about the viewership expectations of the series, Dinesh Singh Rathore, CEO, Madison Omega, says that in terms of rivalry, India-Australia encounters have become quite fierce because India doesn’t play with Pakistan anymore. “We have to understand that IPL is 45 days of non-stop cricket so the outlay will be different as compared to the bilateral series. Also, comparing IPL with a bilateral series would be unfair. There will be takers for the series as well since it is also coming after a long time,” he believes.

Karan Taurani, Vice President, Elara Capital, too believes that the viewership is going to be good for the India- Australia series since a lot of people are still working from home.

“The viewership will be good on TV, but unlikely on digital. The TV numbers are likely to be better than the digital numbers. In terms of revenue, there is uncertainty as a lot of budget was already skewed toward IPL. Also, the time slot of the matches is not very suitable here. Though there will be a higher viewership, I don’t see revenues growing in alignment with the viewership. There is going to be a gap between the viewership and the revenue numbers. If viewership spikes up significantly in the first week, there could be premium rates for rest of the matches,” explained Taurani.

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