Oct 31, 2008

Business - India;ESPN aims to hike Ad rate

Pradipta Mukherjee

Riding on the success of T20 format and taking a cue from Indian Premier League (IPL), broadcaster ESPN Software India Ltd, will hike advertising rates per 10 second slot to Rs 3-5 lakh, a raise of close to 30 per cent compared to what it was for the IPL matches.

R C Venkateish, managing director of ESPN Software India Ltd, who was in Kolkata recently told Business Standard, “We will price our advertising at almost 30 per cent premium over what advertisers paid for the IPL because the international format will be more popular. Moreover, since the broadcasting rights are global, around 60 per cent of our advertising revenues may be generated from India and the remaining from other participating countries.”

ESPN Star Sports, which is now sitting on nearly 1,400 days of international cricket matches over the next ten years for which it has paid nearly Rs 9,380 crore, is also in talks with leading companies to launch its exclusive range of merchandise, targeting the Champions League T20 matches due in December this year.

“ESPN does not manufacture merchandise but we are talking to other companies who do, for merchandising revenues for categories like apparel, mugs, stationery items, and others. The merchandise will be also be retailed by the respective companies who we will sign up with. Players as well as spectators can use our merchandise,” Venkateish said. “Although merchandising contribute very little to our overall revenues, after IPL we think this revenue generating option will only grow going forward,” Venkateish added.

Among other plans, the broadcaster will offer viewers roughly 140 days of cricket every year and it has acquired each match-day at an average cost of Rs 7 crore.

Its major properties include Champions League T20 in December this year (15 matches), ICC World Cup Twenty20 in April 2009 (27 matches), ICC Champions Trophy in September-October 2009 (15 matches), CL T20 in October 2009 (23 matches), ICC World Cup Twenty20 in April-May 2010 (27 matches), Olympics (Winter) in February 2010 (16 days), FIFA Cup 2010 in June-July 2010 (64 matches), CL T20 in October 2010 (23 matches), ICC Cricket World Cup in February-March 2011 (51 matches), India's Tour of England in July-Aug 2011 (four tests, five ODIs, one T20), CL T20 in October 2011 (23 matches), India's Tour of Australia in December-January 2011-2011 (four test, 15 ODIs, two T20), Olympics (Summer) in July-August 2012 (16 matches), ICC Champion's Trophy in September 2012 (15 matches), and CL T20 in October 2012 (23 matches).

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