ESPN Star Sports to earn Rs 120 crore profit from CLT20

Analysts feel despite India’s poor showing in England, CLT20 is attracting advertiser interest due to a host of factors. Getty Images

New Delhi: Sep 16, 2011

Sports broadcaster ESPN Star Sports (ESS) is set to rake in over Rs 120 crore from ads during the upcoming Champions League Twenty20 (CLT), defying notions that viewer interest in the game would dip after team India’s disastrous tour of England.

“We are already sold out for the Champions League and have kept some 5-10 per cent ad inventory for the last minute, like we do for every tournament,” ESS Executive Vice President, Ad Sales and New Media, Sanjay Kailash told PTI.

ESS has already roped in Nokia and Next Retail as joint presenting sponsors, and Coca Cola, Sony India, Tata Docomo, Reliance Netconnect, Digiworld and Toshiba as associate sponsors.

“Advertising revenues this time is 20-25 per cent more compared to the last year’s tournament,” Kailash said but did not disclose the exact figures.

Industry sources said ESS has already sold almost all the ad spots for Rs 120 crore. According to media buyers, the spot rates are priced ranging between around Rs 1.5 lakh to Rs 1.75 2 lakh for a ten seconds slot. This, however, is much less compared to IPL, in which MSM has charged about Rs 5 lakh per ten seconds spot.

Analysts said despite India’s poor showing in England, CLT is attracting advertiser interest due to a host of factors.

“The CLT20 is timed very well with the festival season in India. With at least four IPL teams playing, it is a great opportunity for brand who look for getting into T20 formats but cannot given the higher entry level costs of IPL,” ZenithOptimedia India Managing Partner Navin Khemka said.

He said brands, which are looking to dominate the festival season will look at this as a good launch into the festival campaigns.

“Given that it is a T20 format the cost benefit for the tournament is very attractive for advertisers,” he added.

Expressing similar sentiments, Nokia India Marketing Director Viral Oza said: “This is for the first time that we are associating with it (CLT)…this is the biggest investment in terms of marketing and brand promotion for this quarter.”

Nokia is the title sponsor for this year’s tournament to be played by 10 top sides from India, Australia, England, Sri Lanka, New Zealand and the West Indies from September 19 to October 9. For the last two years the title sponsor was Airtel.

In order to attract viewers, ESS has already kicked off a mass media campaign featuring Shahrukh Khan, Sachin Tendulkar, MS Dhoni, Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli with a total budget of around Rs 40 crore to promote the tournament.

Apart from Nokia, Toshiba, Coca Cola, Venkys, Indian Oil Corporation Ltd, and UB Ltd have signed up for on-ground sponsorships.(PTI)