Television

Indo-Australia cricket series generated Rs 400 million in airtime sales

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The recently concluded cricket series between India and Australia generated Rs 400 million in airtime sales, Monica Shrivastav, in charge of airtime sales for Zee Telefilms, has said.

Zee Group company Buddha Films had signed a four-year deal last year for airtime sales rights covering nine international cricket series to be played in India. Zee purchased the rights from national broadcaster Doordarshan for a whopping Rs 4,500 million.

Coming up at the end of the year are two series which will feature England and Sri Lanka. If India's cricketers can again perform the way they did in this series, Zee just may have reason not to right off its commitment to Doordarshan. There was talk at one stage of Zee pulling out which would have invited an immediate forfeiture of Rs 700 million as bank guarantee.

Other news that should cheer Zee officials is Initiative Media president Ashish Bhasin's observation that cricket viewership was 25 per cent more than even the most optimistic estimates at the start of the series.

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