Hoping that Sunday’s India-Pakistan World Cup match would shatter all viewership records, advertisers are not shying away from buying ad inventories of Star Sports channels at a staggering price of Rs 25 lakh per 10 seconds.
The much-awaited match between the two arch rivals would be held at the picturesque Stretford stadium in England on Sunday. The ad rate Star Sports is charging from advertisers for this match is double the rate for 10-second spots during the series. On an average, the channel is selling other matches for Rs 10-Rs 15 lakh per 10 seconds.
Usually, for big-ticket events across categories, ad slots are sold for maximum Rs 15 lakh. The rates for the upcoming match—the first one to be played after the recent India-Pakistan tension—are unheard of and have never been charged by any Indian broadcaster in the past.
Not only will the game be a treat for viewers but also the most opportune event for advertisers as an Indian-Pakistan match is one of the few events when they tend to bet big on ad spots. According to an expert, Star India — the ICC World Cup 2019 official broadcaster — has received an extremely positive response for the series.
Sujata Dwibedy, EVP & Head of Buying & Trading, Amplifi India, said, “The ad rates that brands have paid as a package deal with other matches are less than the rate charged for just this India-Pakistan match. Three types of buys happen — all matches bought under a package deal; only India matches with other interesting games; and third is a stand-alone India-Pakistan match. So it is obvious that rates for the India-Pakistan will be the highest because it is a known factor that it garners the highest viewership. Ad rates for India-Pakistan matches are almost double the rates for a regular package deal.”
According to an industry expert, Star Sports has sold out its free commercial time for the India-Pak match and expects an almost 25%-30% jump in viewership. The fact that the match will be played on a Sunday in prime time will help the channel attract higher viewership.
Sudhir Kumar, Director, Offline Media, DCMN India, said, “The response is huge since it is an India-Pakistan match; the sentiments and the importance of this game is always high within the audience. The best part is that it is on a Sunday and in prime time, so the entire nation is going to watch. The viewership will be higher and as a result, the rates are too high. Around 100% premium if you buy an India-Pakistan match at the World Cup level.”
Broadcasters have taken several initiatives to create compelling content around the matches to attract maximum viewers. Star Sports is offering special programming that starts with a 90-minute dedicated pre-show for all match days. The offering includes eight special shows such as Philips Hue Cricket Live, Fab 15, Follow The Blues, Game Plan, ICC World Cup Cricket Countdown, Match Point and Game Plan, Fanatic and Indian Cricket Heroes.
For the series, the network has got on board 23 advertisers such as PhonePe, One Plus, Havells, Kamala Pasand, Amazon.com, Amazon Pay, Byju’s, Dream11, MRF Tyres, Pernod Ricard, AMFI, Coca Cola, Uber, Uber Eats, Mondelez, Oppo, PolicyBazar.com, Paisa Bazaar.com, Acko General Insurance, Ceat Tyres, ICICI Lombard, Royal Challenge Sports Drink and Philips Hue.
The broadcaster is also betting big on its digital platform Hotstar and is streaming the tournament across six languages. According to experts, the maximum reach will be through television and around 20%-25% of the total viewership will come from Hotstar.