Sony ropes in slew of advertisers for Ind-Aus series on TV, digital

MUMBAI: Sony Pictures Networks India (SPNI) is eyeing strong ad revenue from the India-Australia, which will kick-off on 21 November. The series consists of three T20 Internationals, four Test matches and three ODIs.

The company had sold TV and digital inventory separately. It has roped in 11 broadcast sponsors including PhonePe, Relaxo, Kent RO, MRF, Byjus, Swiggy, Veedol, and Amazon.

SPNI’s video on demand (VoD) platform has received a good response with 15 advertisers coming on-board. The advertisers include Swiggy, Quikr, Nescafe, Xiaomi, Total, Tourism Australia, and Kotak. The spot buyers include PolicyBazaar, Hero Motocorp, Cars24, Airtel, Anchor, Zoomcar, Google, Levis, and USL.

“Our inventory for the T20 series is sold out. This format always sells out first across any series due to the sheer ratings. For the ODIs, we have sold 80% inventory. For the Test matches, discussions are on-going. We have gotten 11 sponsors for the series. The focus is always more on sponsorships as that is how we fill inventory,” said SPNI president ad sales Rohit Gupta.

He noted that there is a lot of interest among cricket fans when India plays Australia and England. “These two teams have a rich history. The conflict is always there which is what draws a huge amount of interest. The rivalry is special. The two best teams are playing.

Gupta also noted that the Test match revenue gets affected as matches start very early in the morning. “For the first couple of hours, we don’t sell out inventory.”

Speaking about the advertiser response, SPNI EVP and head digital business Uday Sodhi said, “Given that we have become the number 2 app in the market advertisers are now preferring to spend on SonyLIV. Most of these advertisers are repeat advertisers. India-Australia is the most sought-after series.”

He also stated that timing will not be an issue as T20 matches will start at 1.30 pm while the ODIs will start in the morning. “Most of the matches are during the day which will be good for SonyLIV as people will watch the series on their mobile on the move. We are expecting good numbers from the series,” he noted.

Dentsu Aegis Network chairman, CEO South Asia Ashish Bhasin said that the viewership will depend on how the Indian team fares. “When the Indian team performs well viewership correspondingly rises. Interest in the India Australia series is at a higher level though not on the same level as the IPL or the World Cup, which are mega-events,” he stated.

He further stated that the digital viewership on SonyLIV will also play a role. “Generally, the first preference for viewers is to watch it on a large screen. However, if they are travelling or are at work then they can catch the action on their mobile. Digital offers us an easy way to catch up with what is happening,” Bhasin stated.

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