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After an impressive win against Australia, India is set to face England in a two-month-long series starting 5 February. As international cricket returns to Indian soil, fans and advertisers are pinning their hopes on the tournament. However, the government is yet to take a call on an appeal by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to allow 50% capacity at the stadia in Chennai, Ahmedabad and Pune for the first few matches.

According to estimates by media buyers, official broadcaster Star India is likely to earn over 500 crore in ad revenue collectively from television and Disney+Hotstar, the network’s over-the-top video streaming platform. Star is selling 10-second ad slots for 7-8 lakh. So far, it has managed to sell 80% of inventory for ODIs and T20 matches besides 70% of Test match inventory.

Star India did not divulge the names of the sponsors and advertisers for the tournament that will feature in the three ODIs, five T20s and four Tests. However, the broadcaster said that it has seen keen interest from categories such as auto, edtech, e-commerce, automotive, insurance, financial services, gaming and telecom.

Dinesh Rathod, chief executive at media agency Madison Media Omega, said the England series has all the three formats, giving ample time for brands to advertise. “I expect the advertising to be packed and rates will be higher than the previous cricket tournaments that have happened in the country. Apart from the match timings, the buzz around the tournament is also high when it happens in India," he added.

Star has started the #IndiaTaiyarHai promotional campaign featuring actor Boman Irani to promote the series. The tournament will be broadcast on the Star Sports network and streamed on Disney+ Hotstar across five languages –English, Hindi, Kannada, Tamil, and Telugu.

“England tour of India is the most awaited bilateral series. It marks the return of cricket to Indian soil after a long hiatus. The consumption and reach of series on Star Sports have been growing across segments, and there is anticipation among the viewers which has led to strong demand from brands," said Anil Jayaraj, executive vice president, Star Sports. “This is only the beginning; we look forward to a strong line-up of cricketing action this year and we are excited about the possibilities that we can offer to our brand partners.

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