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MSM expects to earn profit from Fifa World Cup telecast

MUMBAI: Multi Screen Media (MSM) is targeting a reach of 100 million for the upcoming Fifa World Cup, which will air on Six from 12 June.

Speaking to TelevisionPost.com, MSM president, licensing and telephony Rohit Gupta notes that soccer viewership growth is a big reason why MSM has made a sizeable investment.

“Last year, soccer had a reach of 155 million, while cricket had reached 220 million [TAM data c&s4+ all India]. These are great figures for soccer given that there was no special event like a World Cup last year. Soccer is growing in the country. In the 2006 World Cup, the reach was 28 million which more than doubled to 65 million in the 2010 World Cup.

“This was half the reach of the IPL that year. This season the IPL’s reach was around 200 million and we expect the soccer World Cup’s reach to be half of that, i.e. 100 million.”

He adds that to get to this figure, the property has to be pushed in a manner that appeals to a mass audience. “That is why we roped in John Abraham as the brand ambassador. As I have said earlier, timings will not be an issue. More than half the games air at a good time. Over a third of the games air at 9:30 pm. In addition, soccer has more stickiness. That is because the audience is mature. In cricket people might watch it only if their team is batting.

“With soccer, on the other hand, people will stay tuned in and also watch the pre-mid and post-match content. I would say that the wraparound content for soccer is more important than cricket because the soccer fan is very interested in analysis and the factors that influenced a match. That is why we are putting a lot of effort in that direction.”

Six will offer a separate audio feed in Bengali for the event to target West Bengal.

On the ad sales front, Xolo has come on board as an associate sponsor. Gupta said that the aim is to build a client roster on Six that advertises on soccer.

“This is what we have done with the IPL and have repeat clients like Vodafone. With soccer, we have a major event every couple of years (2014 soccer World Cup, 2016 Euro, 2018 soccer World Cup). We will approach clients who advertise in this year’s World Cup first when we air Euro 2016. That is how you build relationships. We will also air the soccer World Cup online on our Liv platform and have a separate package for the same. Of course, the revenue from that will be much less but it will add.”

Sony’s business strategy for soccer is a dual-revenue stream. “For us, both ad sales and subscription are of equal importance in terms of our soccer investment. That has been the case with all our big sports properties. That is why we have been profitable whether it has been the ICC or the IPL. With Fifa too, we expect to be profitable,” said Gupta.

Also read:

MSM firms up ad sales packages for soccer World Cup


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