ESPN to sell advertisement for India-Pakistan series on Doordarshan

ESPN holds the telecast rights for the ODI and the twenty20 series to be played between India and Pakistan. © Getty Images (Representation Pic)

New Delhi: Dec 18, 2012

For the upcoming series between India and Pakistan, sports broadcast channel ESPN Star Sports will sell advertisement spots on Doordarshan after having outbid the public broadcaster in minimum guarantee revenues.

ESPN holds the telecast rights for the ODI and the twenty20 series to be played between India and Pakistan.

In a recently held meeting, ESPN agreed to provide Doordarshan with the match feed without any embedded advertisement for terrestrial transmission.

Media planners who are buying airtime for advertisers believe that this deal is a win-win situation and will help public broadcaster rake in revenue from the India-Pakistan series as the advertising rates have tourched a record 10 lakh.

The deal covers both the Pakistan series and the one-day international and twenty20 series with England next month.

This decision came about after Prasar Bharati asked the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to intervene and settle its differences with ESPN and BCCI over providing feeds without embedded ads.

“ESPN said that there will be ‘digital commercial enhancement’ of the feed coming from the BCCI.” This meant logos and other promotional material of the sponsors were to be part of the feed. “We wrote to the I&B ministry and the ministry wrote to ESPN and BCCI saying that it was not on,”
Tripurari Sharan, director general at Doordarshan, said,  as reported by Economic Times.

ESPN made Rs 22-crore minimum guarantee bid to sell ad spots on behalf of Doordarshan to advertisers for the India-Pakistan and India-England series. Doordarshan had bid Rs 18 core.

According to the Sports Broadcasting Signals (Mandatory Sharing with Prasar Bharati) Act, 2007, it is mandatory for the rights holder of any sporting event of national importance to share the feed with the public broadcaster. Doordarshan, in return, should share 75 per cent of the advertisement revenue with the broadcasting rights holder.

A bidding process in place to decide the revenue management company, the party that is responsible for selling advertisements.

Earlier this year, Doordarshan failed to make any profit after winning the bid for the revenue management company of the India-Sri Lanka T20 series.

Jawahar Sircar, chief executive officer of Prasar Bharati, said, “We struggled and managed to reach bid amount; only to hand over 75 per cent to ESPN and lose revenue from our normal telecasts.”

With just a week to go, ESPN has already started marketing the India-Pakistan series. Private broadcaster is demanding 10 lakhs for a 10-second spot for T20s and 6 lakh for ODIs. Doordharshan can manage to get 1 lakh for ODIs and around 1.5 lakh for T20s, they said.

“The series is a very sought-after media property. It may not be a very efficient buy, but will have a big impact considering the hype and the fact that the two nations are playing after a long time,” Navin Khemka, managing partner of media buying firm Zenith Optimedia, said.