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Sony sells 70% ad inventory for Euro 2016

MUMBAI: With Euro 2016 kicking off later this week, Sony Pictures Networks India (SPNI) has sold close to 70% of its ad inventory for the soccer tourney.
Rohit Gupta

Speaking to, SPNI president Rohit Gupta said that the broadcaster has sold close to 70% of its ad inventory. “When the event starts, we would have sold 80–85%. We have one presenting sponsor Gionee. The others are spot buys. That is because soccer’s airtime is different from cricket. You cannot do brand integration. There is just pre-match, mid-match and post-match time for ads.”

The spot buyers who have come on board so far include Honda Cars, Yes Bank, Apple, Makemytrip, Carlsberg, Hero Cycles and Crompton Greaves.

“We are talking to four to five more brands who are targeting the youth and males. Companies take different amounts of inventory. It could be 60 seconds or 90 seconds.”

UEFA Euro 2016Gupta is also confident of viewership for Euro 2016 going up this time as many matches happen in the primetime. “The soccer-viewing audience is anyway used to staying up late. It is different from cricket. Soccer matches that are going on even at 2:30 am get viewership especially for the top clubs,” he said.

SPNI sells the big soccer properties like Euro 2016 separately. “This is a standalone property. We are eyeing good growth,” Gupta said.

This edition of Euro has 20 more matches. While in 2012 there were 31 matches, the 2016 edition has 51 matches.

Sony could earn in the region of Rs 55 crore (Rs 550 million) from the event, according to market estimates. In 2012, Neo earned in the region of Rs 30-35 crore (Rs 300-350 million).

Euro 2016 is taking place after a heavy dose of cricket events, including the T20 World Cup and the Indian Premier League (IPL).

“This has been a cricket-heavy season. You had back-to-back cricket events. A lot of ad budget would have been consumed. However, Euro 2016 will see some amount of advertiser interest. There are negotiations that are still going on between Sony and advertisers,” a senior sports broadcast executive said.

Ashish BhasinDentsu Aegis Network South Asia chairman, CEO Ashish Bhasin noted that Euro 2016 will be a niche event. “The TG for Euro 2016 is younger affluent males. Advertisers are willing to experiment and show support,” he said.

Bhasin added that in the past some international soccer events had generated interest but that interest level had varied from tournament to tournament.

The Uefa Euro 2016 matches will be aired during primetime at 6.30 pm, 9.30 pm and 12.30 am (IST). On the digital front, Sony Liv will live-stream all the matches.

SPNI will have six language feeds for the upcoming UEFA Euro 2016. While Sony Six will air the English feed, Sony ESPN will broadcast five regional feeds, namely Hindi, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam. On the digital front, Sony Liv will stream the matches live.

This is the first time in India that there will be six language feeds for an international football tournament. The strategy to offer multiple regional feeds has been the result of the success of the Bengali feed on Sony Aath for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Sony believes that the multiple language feeds will bring the tournament closer to fans by presenting the content in a localised format for viewers across markets in India.

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