Ole Ola… less than a week to go for FIFA World Cup 2014

06 Jun,2014


By Pritha Mitra Dasgupta


With barely a week to go before the soccer world cup FIFA 2014, Sony Six, the official broadcaster of the tournament in India, has managed to sell half its on-air advertising inventory, MSM president Rohit Gupta has said.


“We will be closing in most of the deals for the remaining inventory next week”, he said. The tournament will also be aired on Sony Six HD in English and Sony Aath, the Bengali channel of the network. According to TAM data shared by Sony Six, in 2010, 62.7 million Indians tuned in for the FIFA World Cup.


“This year we are expecting the viewership to cross 100 million and it will be at least 50% of the IPL (Indian Premier League),” said Mr Gupta. IPL 2014 received viewership of over 185 million and the 2012 World Cup T20 raked in a viewership of nearly 120 million in India.


“To that extent, football viewership in India is growing at a steady pace of 20-30%,” he added. The data also shows that in 2013 alone 155 million Indians watched football matches on various channels, which is only second to the top game — cricket, which is watched by 209 million Indians.


While the channel has mnaged to ink deals with some of the top advertisers including Hero Motocorp, Xolo Mobile, Microsoft, Havells, Sony India, Samsung, UB Group, Micromax and Diageo, some advertisers have shown concern over the odd match timings. While the sponsors have paid anywhere around Rs 15-20 crore, a 10-second slot on the channel is selling at Rs 2-2.50 lakh, which is almost half of what it had charged during the recentlyconcluded IPL.


“It is not a problem at all because 60% of the matches start before midnight”, said Mr Gupta. Concurs Basabdatta Chowdhury, CEO, Platinum Media, a subsidiary of the Madison World. She said, “A good number of matches will be played at 9.30 pm and World Cup timings have always been in the night. Moreover, South East Asia is a huge football market and therefore some of the match timings have been adjusted to suit the viewers. So timing is not a concern at all.”


However, some media planners have raised concern over the distribution of Sony Six and how many market it reaches in comparison to other established players like ESPN Star Sports and Ten Sports. “The distribution of Sony Six is 50-60% of that of other top sports channels in the country. So advertisers are pretty apprehensive about the reach of the platform and that why the channel is left with so much unsold inventory. Unavailability of Sony Six could be a dampener to its advertising revenues,” said a senior media planner who didn’t wished to be named.


But Mr Gupta says distribution of the channel is not a concern at all. “The biggest testimony of that is the IPL figures. If we didn’t have the reach then how is IPL viewership growing?” he asked. The channel has also planned a two-hour wrap around show on Sony Six which will be aired for 32 days and the channel has signed in actor John Abraham to spearhead the show.


Source:The Economic Times

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