Sony gets strong advertiser response for Ind-Eng cricket series

MUMBAI: With the Indian cricket team’s tour of England kicking off shortly, Sony Pictures Networks India (SPNI) has received a strong response from advertisers for the series.

SPNI president network sales and international business Rohit Gupta told that the inventory for the ODI and T20 matches have been sold out. In the case of Tests, the broadcaster has already sold 70% ad inventory.

The bi-lateral series featuring 5 Tests, 3 ODIs, and 3 T20Is will be played from 3rd July till 11 September.

“The response has been excellent. We have sold out our inventory for the ODI and Twenty20 International games. For the Test series we have already sold 70% inventory though there is still a month to go for the Test matches to be played,” Gupta said.

Sony has roped in five co-presenting and eight associate sponsors for the series. The co-presenting sponsors are Maruti, Flipkart, Xiaomi, Idea, and Samsung while the associate sponsors include MRF, Hindustan Unilever, Big Basket, Bajaj Auto, Uber, and McDonald’s.

Gupta believes that the India-England series has all the ingredients of being a blockbuster series. The timings are good, the competitive intensity is high, and quality of cricket will be great.

“An India England series now is one of the best to watch. Whenever India tours England it draws a lot of positive response because the timings are good. Cricket in England is excellent and it is testing waters for the Indian team. English conditions are not easy to play on. The English crowds, the quality of cricket is always the best. It is always one of the most sought-after series by advertisers,” Gupta noted.

He also noted that Test cricket is holding on to its viewership notwithstanding what the naysayers claim. “Test cricket is for purists. Test cricket’s viewership has been consistent for many years. Purists come to watch the matches.”

The theme of Sony’s marketing campaign for the series is ‘Kya Hoga Iss Baar’. The campaign film is inspired by the uncertainty that comes when India tours England. Every time India has toured England, the results have bordered on extreme. From ecstatic and memorable victories to forgettable defeats (especially in Tests), Indians have witnessed it all.

It has also ensured an all-star panel line-up and programming initiatives for the series. SPN’s live wraparound show Extraaa Innings will have a rethought set design. The show will now feature personality-driven segments for a healthy dose of entertainment and increased fan engagement to bring the Indian touch to the analyses.

Extraaa Innings will feature expert insights from an impressive line-up of cricketing personalities like Sourav Ganguly, Ashish Nehra, Sanjay Manjrekar, Graeme Swann, Sunil Gavaskar, Harsha Bhogle, Gaurav Kapur, Deep Dasgupta, Vivek Razdan and Alan Wilkins.

The series will be broadcast with English and Hindi commentary on SONY SIX and SONY TEN 3 channels respectively.

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