Sponsorship revenue, viewership set to rise from last tournament

Sponsorship revenue, viewership set to rise from last tournament

Mumbai: ICC World Cup 2011 is expected to deliver more in terms of sponsorship revenue and viewership than the 2003 and 2007 editions. On-ground sponsors such as Reliance Communications Ltd, LG Electronics India Pvt. Ltd, Hero Honda Motors Ltd, Reebok India Ltd, The Emirates Group etc. have in total paid up over Rs200-250 crore for in-stadia rights this year.

On-air sponsorship and joint presenting sponsors Sony India, Hero Honda and Vodafone Essar Ltd have each paid Rs40 crore plus, according to media buyers. ESPN Software India Pvt. Ltd said it has signed up 45 advertisers for on-air advertising while Doordarshan, which shares the feed, has 22 advertisers of its own.

Also See Adding Numbers (PDF)

Media agency ZenithOptimedia Pvt. Ltd estimates that World Cup 2011 will generate, at the very minimum, Rs800 crore in overall advertising expenditure, double that of 2007. That year’s Twenty20 World Cup generated Rs300 crore of advertising, according to the agency.

Viewership is set to rise, especially in India, since the matches will be played in the subcontinent and there won’t be a large time difference unlike last time, said Shubha George, chief operating officer (South Asia), MEC, GroupM India Pvt. Ltd. The last World Cup was held in the West Indies.

Apart from that, matches featuring India are scheduled for the weekends.

There are also more guaranteed India matches, with the national team set to stay in the tournament at least until the last eight and beyond. “We would have to do something utterly stupid to not get to the semi-finals," said George.

Sponsors had demanded compensation from the broadcaster of the event in 2007 when the Indian team was eliminated fairly early in the tournament. Multi Screen Media Ltd (MSML) owned MAX was the official broadcaster last time.

As per viewership figures from TAM Media Research Pvt. Ltd, the 2007 event had a cumulative reach of 113 million people while it was 60 million in 2003.

Cumulative reach refers to the number of individuals who viewed the programme for at least one minute.

Hiren Pandit, managing partner, ESP (Entertainment Sports Partnerships, GroupM India Pvt. Ltd), said the increase in television ratings company TAM’s sample size will also have a positive impact on viewership.

The number of metered homes has gone up from 7,000 in 2007 to 8,000 now, according to a TAM official.

The metered homes are essentially a sample representing the entire universe of television viewers in class 1 towns (with a population of over 100,000) in India.

Increased viewership will push up ad rates. Media buyers said a 10-second spot in World Cup 2003 was sold for Rs1 lakh, while for World Cup 2007 it increased to Rs1.75 lakh. In 2011, the average ad rate is said to be nearly Rs3.5 lakh for 10 seconds.

The money spent is well worth the mileage for sponsors such as Vodafone Essar, which was involved with the 2003 and 2007 events as Hutchison Essar.

Another sponsor LG India said it has committed Rs70 crore in sponsorship.

“The Cup’s coming into India after 14 years, and as a leading brand of the country, we are celebrating it," said LG India chief operating officer L.K. Gupta.

Graphic by Yogesh Kumar/Mint