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New Delhi: As fans continue to keenly watch the ongoing India and Australia cricket tournament, official broadcaster Sony Pictures Network (SPN) is likely to earn 350-400 crore in ad revenues collectively from television and SonyLiv, the network's over-the-top video streaming platform.

The tournament, which kickstarted on 27 November, has three ODIs and T20s each as well as four Tests that will conclude in mid January. SPN is airing the matches across six channels, available in English, Hindi, Tamil and Telugu.

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The recently concluded T20 and ODI matches witnessed big brands such as Mondelez, Netflix and Dettol actively advertising as the short format game gets eyeballs and creates deeper engagement.

According to data shared by TV measurement agency Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC), the three ODI matches, played between 27 November and 2 December, collectively garnered 11 billion viewing minutes with a reach of 129 million. The average time spent stood at over 55 minutes.

Meanwhile, the three T20 matches, played between 4 and 8 December, collectively registered 8.5 billion viewing minutes with a reach of 118 million. The average time spent being over 45 minutes. Reach is the number of target households in thousands where the event was viewed for at least one minute. The numbers, provided by Barc India, represent viewers above two years of age who watched the live matches across six television channels of Sony Pictures Network (SPN) and DD Sports.

The shorter formats (T20 and ODIs), held in the beginning of the tournament, did well both in terms of viewership and advertising, said Dinesh Rathod, chief executive at media agency Madison Media Omega. The viewership has also been good since most of the matches were held post noon.

"With India not playing Pakistan, Australia becomes the next most competitive cricket team that attracts fan interest thereby increasing the viewership. Secondly, since Indian Premier League (IPL) has managed to achieve 20-30% higher viewership while commanding a certain ad pricing, it has raised the benchmark for other live cricket properties. Sony has managed to get 15 odd sponsors on board and they are likely to achieve their revenue targets," added Rathod.

SPN has managed to sign a mix of big firms and startups as co-presenting sponsors, including Maruti Suzuki, My11Circle, Byju’s, and Vimal Pan Masala. Associate sponsors include Reliance Jio, Pernod Ricard, SBI Mutual Fund, Netflix, Mondelez, MRF, Ather Energy and Dettol.

"We have managed to get the highest number of sponsors because it is the first bilateral series this year. It is a fully sold out series from an advertising perspective. The response to the tournament has been fantastic in terms of viewership both on television and digital as well," said Rohit Gupta, president, Sony Pictures Networks India.

"Majority of the advertising is usually bought during ODIs and T20s while bonus ad spots are usually aired during test matches which are a part of overall bundled deals. I feel brands will also conserve money for the upcoming India England series in February-March and the next edition of IPL which is expected to be held during mid-March. The cricket calendar is reasonably full going forward," said Sandeep Goyal, chairman, Mogae Media, a Mumbai-based marketing and communication agency.

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