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Star to air T20 World Cup only on sports channels, ad rev to touch Rs 300 cr

MUMBAI: Broadcast major Star India has decided to limit the telecast of the ICC World Twenty20 to its sports network and is expected to reap advertising revenue of around Rs 300 crore (Rs 3 billion) from the tournament, which will play out from 8 March to 3 April.

This is in contrast to the 50-over edition of the ICC Cricket World Cup of 2015, which had a wide coverage on Star India’s regional channels as well.

The T20 World Cup, which is happening for the first time in India, will be aired in English and Hindi on Star Sports 1 and 3 and their high-definition (HD) versions Star Sports HD1 and HD3.

The event will also be streamed live on Star India’s online destination Hotstar.

Sanjay_GuptaTalking to TelevisionPost.com, Star India COO Sanjay Gupta said that the sports channels will provide good reach for the matches. “Star Sports channels have a large enough reach. They have also grown over the period,” Gupta said.

Gupta’s confidence stems from the fact that the broadcaster had recently signed multi-year deals with the national multi-system operators (MSOs) under which the latter are obliged to put two sports channels in the base pack to ensure a higher reach.

He also feels that viewer fatigue is not an issue. “Consumers are delighted with so much content. The ratings show it. As long as the games are good and competitive, having a lot of cricket is not an issue,” he averred.

The broadcaster has already roped in 13 sponsors for the tournament. These include four co-presenting and nine associate sponsors. The co-presenting sponsors are Oppo, Nissan, Flipkart and Airtel while the associate sponsors are Raymond, Cricbuzz, Vimal Pan Masala, Lloyd, MRF, Cadbury Dairy Milk, Kurkure, Revital and Royal Stag.

The co-presenters will get 180 seconds a match while the associate sponsors will get 100–130 seconds a match. There will be 35 matches in total featuring 10 teams. The broadcaster could earn ad revenue of around Rs 300 crore from the tournament, several media buyers said.

Lintas Media Group senior VP R Venkatasubranian feels that for a brand like Oppo Mobile, which is present on both the IPL and the World Cup, there might be no need to use other marketing vehicles on television during this period.

“If you useT20 cricket, it will take care of everything. For cricket the target is males 15–44. The English news channels provide the only other option, but their reach is not as much,” he said.

What is working favourably for the broadcaster is that the tournament is happening in India; most of the matches will be aired during primetime and Team India faces big encounters against Australia and Pakistan. There is also high expectation from the Indian team, which is led by MS Dhoni, as they beat Bangladesh on Sunday to clinch the Asia Cup trophy for the sixth time.

Star is promoting the tournament with #MakeYourMiracle campaign featuring cricketer Suresh Raina.

The tournament is estimated to reach more than 1.5 billion viewers globally, thanks to a slew of sub-licensing deals signed by Star India in various territories including a last-minute deal in Australia.

Some of the major deals signed by the broadcaster include BSkyB (UK and Ireland), Australia (Fox Sports and Channel Nine), SuperSport (South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa), OSN (Middle East and North Africa), BTV, GTV, and Maasranga TV (Bangladesh), and Ten Sports and PTV (Pakistan).

Channel 2 Group has acquired global audio rights and has sub-licensed audio rights in key territories around the world. This includes the UK, USA, Middle East and North Africa, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

The ICC, along with its production partners Sunset+Vine, will provide comprehensive match coverage of the tournament along with compelling additional content packaged together to deliver a world feed programme of the highest quality.

They will be supported by production suppliers Broadcast Solutions, who will provide a majority of the TV equipment and will supervise the installation and running of all technical facilities.

The graphics providers Alston Elliot will take care of the in-programme graphics, including live match scoring and other real-time and enhanced graphics. Hawkeye, meanwhile, will provide high-end Ultra-motion replays and tracking data, apart from batting and bowling analysis.

Star had retained the ICC media rights until 2023 in cricket’s biggest-ever deal. It recently got licences to launch sports channels in Tamil, Telugu, Marathi, Bengali and Malayalam in SD and HD.

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