DD ups ante on cricket coverage

MUMBAI: Media focus in the run-up to the ICC Cricket World Cup has been on ambush marketing. Maybe "ambush programming" also needs to be considered. That could well be the sentiment at Sony Entertainment anyways as it confronts a super-aggressive Doordarshan with Harish Thawani's Nimbus Communications providing strategic back-up.

DD has just entered into an arrangement with News Corp controlled Global Cricket Corporation (the worldwide rights owner) and Nimbus (the revenue management company for World Cup telecasts over DD) to enhance the coverage of the cricket's premier tournament on the national broadcaster's terrestrial networks. 

The initial agreement DD had entered into covered the live telecast of 16 'Big Gun' matches on DD National (all India matches, 2 Semi Finals and the Final; as also 43 daily one hour Highlights on DD National. The new arrangement covers the telecast of a total of 43 matches, including the 'Big Gun' matches, on DD Metro. All matches on DD Metro will be telecast on a delayed basis starting 9:30 am on every day of the Cricket World Cup, which lasts 43 days. What this means is that in addition to the rights for the live telecast of 16 matches, DD has secured the rights for delayed telecast of an additional 27 games.

Nimbus claims that the consistency of timing (9:30 am every day) will enable DD to build viewership during day parts, thereby avoiding a clash of timings with DD's own prime time programming as well as prime time programming on other channels.

The additional matches will also be covered under the 80:20 revenue share basis with an additional revenue guarantee to DD provided by Nimbus. With this, the minimum assured profit that DD will make from the Cricket World Cup is in the region of Rs 200 million and it will also stand to gain further from revenue share, according to Nimbus.

Says Raju Udupa, associate V-P marketing at Nimbus: "Given the phenomenal response from advertisers for the World Cup on DD and the quick sell out of prime positions, we are happy that the additional matches will help us to serve more advertisers as well as cater to those whose budgets or target markets prevent them from advertising on DD National during the World Cup."

The 'Flexi Buys', 'Cluster' buys, 'Package' buys and Broadcast Sponsorships options for advertisers will extend to the DD Metro matches as well.

Nimbus will also be providing 'Frequency Builder' match bonuses to major advertisers, specially those who pinned their faith on DD with early bookings on the live 'Big Gun' matches on DD National.

The additional 43 matches on DD Metro will add about 153 GRPs to DD's expected GRP delivery of 320 on DD National, making it a total of 473 GRPs, a historic new on Indian television for any single event, Nimbus claims.

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