‘Sultan’ set to make Rs30 crore from sponsorship for TV premiere

The sponsors for Sultan’s television premiere on Sony Max and Sony Max HD include Colgate, HUL, Mahindra, OPPO, Google among others


A still from Salman Khan’s wrestling film Sultan, directed by Ali Abbas Zafar.
A still from Salman Khan’s wrestling film Sultan, directed by Ali Abbas Zafar.

New Delhi: Three months after its record-shattering performance at the box office, Salman Khan-starrer Sultan is all set for its television premiere on 15 October. The Yash Raj Films produced sports drama will be aired on Sony Max and Sony Max HD and is expected to fetch Sony Pictures Networks about Rs.30 crore in advertising and sponsorship revenue from the premiere. The first airing on Sony Max is expected to be followed by Sultan’s telecast on the flagship Sony Entertainment Television.

Among companies and brands already on board are Colgate as an associate sponsor for the premiere. Packaged consumer goods maker Hindustan Unilever Ltd and automotive firm Mahindra & Mahindra are the ‘co-powered by’ sponsors which are estimated to have paid between Rs.3 crore and Rs.4 crore, according to top media buyers in advertising.

Handset brand OPPO Mobiles is the co-presenter of the film while Google India, apparel brand Raymond, Vivo mobiles, beauty care brand L’Oréal , handset company Intex Technologies, laptop maker Lenovo and French wine and spirit maker Pernod Ricard have bought ad spots. The price tag for the presenting sponsor, OPPO, is pegged at between Rs.6.5 crore and Rs.8 crore. The network is in talks with other brands for the second co-presenter slot.

Sony is eager to make the most from its advertisers since the channel is said to have paid Rs.55-60 crore for Sultan for a period of five years, according to people familiar with the deal who did not wish to be named as the deal size is confidential.

In fact Sony winning the satellite TV rights to Sultan was a surprise considering Salman Khan already had a Rs.500 crore deal with Star India valid until December 2017 and recently renegotiated a Rs.1,000 crore contract with the broadcaster for his 10 upcoming movies. However, since Sultan was produced under the Yash Raj banner, whose chairman Aditya Chopra sells films only to Sony Pictures Networks (SPN), the film went to SPN.

Also read: Decoding star-led satellite TV film deals

Sony hasn’t skimped on promoting the film for the premiere. “With a Salman Khan film, the build-up really matters,” said Vaishali Sharma, senior vice president, marketing, Sony Max cluster. “What we try and focus on, from a creative standpoint, are visuals, dialogues, imagery, storyline and little snippets on aspects that didn’t come through during the promotions before the theatrical release. For us, a film like Sultan means a really big campaign so certain insights can create a lot of interest in the film.”

The film is also being promoted on television channels across genres—music, kids and news (both English and regional). There is focus on radio campaigns in cities like Mumbai and Delhi and print promotions especially in smaller cities in Maharashtra, Punjab, Rajasthan and Chattisgarh.

There is a major thrust on building awareness through digital platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

The film, which made more than Rs.300 crore at the box office according to movie website Bollywood Hungama, has come to the small screen three months after theatrical release, a move which would have seemed unusual two or three years ago when the window for satellite premieres would range anywhere between six and nine months.

“I think one of the big reasons it’s happening is that the whole economics has changed,” said Neeraj Vyas, senior vice president and business head, Sony Max cluster, Sony Pictures Network. “Way back in the 70s and 80s, you had a movie running for 25, 50 or even 100 weeks, but with the number of screens going up, the first weekend is becoming a critical reality to the success or failure of a film. A lot of money is made in the first week itself. Clearly the screen time for a majority of new films has shortened and that has led to the window becoming shorter between theatrical release and TV.”

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