What’ll Happen To Sony Entertainment Television If India Crash Out?

It’s Sunday, and barbershops across India will have more words in the air than hair on the floor. Talking about this.

Some might take solace from the fact that Pakistan have crashed out too, but I wouldn’t bet on it. For the last two months, TV channels have sidelined important issues (like the Iran situation) for “Breaking News” of inconsequential cricket stories. Yesterdays first breaking news was that India won the toss and chose to field. It’s the last one that broke, that will probably give Sony Entertainment Television sleepless nights. How will India crashing out will impact Sony Entertainment Television (SET)– will the rates be cut? Will advertisers pull out or just re-negotiate rates?

I just asked my sister (she’s a media planner), and she says that advertisers will want to pull out – SET’s ratings will drop; advertisers wanting to renegotiate rates is a best case scenario. We’ll see — there are two games to go.
I just checked, and SET seems to have done quite the smart thing – as per the Economic Times, the SET’s cricket advertising inventory (for the ICC Champions Trophy and World Cup) has been underwritten by Dentsu, Zenith Optimedia and Starcom, in exchange for ad inventory at 10-15 percent discount, for resale. So, the burden then falls on Dentsu, Starcom and Zenith Optimedia…Apparently, the ad revenues were expected to touch Rs.560-580 crore, with the World Cup accounting for 70 percent (that’s Rs. 392-406 crore).

In fact, lots of money has been plonked into several online initiatives as well, with Maruti rumoured to have allocated around $1 million for ad inventory on the official cricket world cup site, for which rights were bought by STAR India’s Indya.com. We could see more mayhem…

Anyway, it somehow lends credence to my favourite crib about Cricket and Bollywood being the two most oversold properties for advertisers (particularly, with the Gov’s insipid ruling on cricket telecast), simply because they’re no-brainers. I hope that will change too…

Related:
Rs 500 cr & slog overs left
BCCI Invites Bids To Host Web Portal; Minimum Guarantee $50 Million
Some (Online) Launches Around The Cricket World Cup
Nimbus Issues Notice To BCCI To Pull Out Of $612 Million Cricket Rights Deal
Indya.com Bags $1 Million Sponsorship From Maruti For Cricket World Cup Site
Everybody Wants Cricket…For Free

An aside: I wonder if Pakistan’s loss to Ireland is a blessing in disguise for President Musharraf. Is the heat off him, and will public anger now be directed towards the Pakistan cricket team? Only time will tell….

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4 Comments

  1. The Maruti figure is accurate. But more than affecting just the official broadcaster and online partner, there are also other advertisers who have pumped money elsewhere. They will also be hurt badly. Many smaller web sites and news channels who have sold sponsorships will be affected.

  2. I have a slightly different, more conspiratorial and cynical view: More than likely what will happen, is that the sponsors will pay SL to lose, by a good margin, so that India can make it. Realize that all the hoardings on the grounds are “Hutch” and “Hero Honda” – eyeballs drop here and they’re screwed.

  3. Okay, so it’s also likely that the advertisers are locked in, so it may not be as bad as it seems for SET or the media consortium. However, it can be a lot of waste of money for advertisers…

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