New Delhi: India’s failure to reach the Twenty20 World Cup semi-finals is bad news for the team, their fans and advertisers experiencing a sharp dip in viewership, but its not all doom and gloom in the cricket-mad country.
Broadcasters ESPN Star Sports (ESS) are less concerned by the defending champion’s stuttering performance in England, having sold most of the commercial spots at premium rates, with millions of passionate Indian fans the main target audience.
“We do expect some attrition in ratings with India’s exit, but as far as commercial deals are concerned, we are sold out,” ESPN Software India managing director R.C. Venkateish told The Economic Times newspaper on Tuesday.
Sponsors had paid between Rs270,000 ($5,650) to Rs400,000 ($8,375) for a mere 10 seconds with most of the commercial spots sold out weeks before the event began on 5 June. India is the sport’s commercial hub and the team were fancied to retain the title in the popular format until hosts England knocked them out in the Super Eights stage.
Despite the disappointing exit, one major sponsor confirmed its long-term deal would pay dividends.
“Viewership ratings will be adversely impacted with India now out of the series but our arrangement with ESS lasts until 2015,” Sanjay Behl, CEO of Big TV and head of Reliance Mobile’s branding and marketing operation, told the paper.
The tournament concludes on Sunday.