Prasar Bharati gets Rs 900m+ from forthcoming cricket series

MUMBAI: The Prasar Bharati marketing team has created a record by selling the ad inventory for the upcoming domestic fixtures of the Indian cricket team in three days flat - 4 July to 7 July 2003 (with a weekend in between). 

In fact, Prasar Bharati has grabbed Rs 906 million for the triangular one day series between India-Australia-New Zealand (10 matches during October) and two test matches ( between India and New Zealand) - with Doordarshan getting Rs 880 million and All India Radio (AIR) getting Rs 26 million.

Speaking to, Prasar Bharati marketing director Vijayalaxmi Chhabra says: "For the first time, we created a package wherein Doordarshan and AIR were marketed jointly. The scientifically devised package ensured that AIR bagged nearly five times what it got for the India-West Indies series last year. Our effort signifies the great results that can be obtained by clubbing the two Prasar Bharati arms together and marketing them jointly."

It is relevant to note that Doordarshan had obtained Rs 530 million for the West Indies tour of India series whereas AIR had garnered Rs 5 million.

Chhabra also points out: "This is also the first time that we have devised a package where spot buyers had to avail of the entire package of Test matches and one day internationals on DD National as well as DD Sports. They could not pick and choose. The rate card was transparent and no negotiations were encouraged. Having said that, we feel that the rates offered were affordable and clients will get optimum mileage by spending Rs 25 million for 150 seconds FCT." 

Ad agency sources admit that the rates were devised through an interactive process and feedback of the advertising fraternity was taken into consideration while preparing the packages.

There are three presenting sponsors and eight associate sponsors; they will account for Rs 270 million out of the total revenues of Rs 880 million. The presenting sponsors Pepsi, Hero Honda and Hindustan Lever Limited will dish out Rs 40 million each. The five associate sponsors - Maruti Udyog, Perfetti, LG Electronics, Castrol and Pidilite have contributed Rs 30 million each.

While taking about the preference given to advertisers, Chhabra emphasises: "While choosing the sponsors, we considered three important factors. We gave preference to advertisers who regularly spend on Doordarshan and support the DD channels. We also considered the payment track record of the advertisers and their ad agencies. The goal was to rope in clients who would help us realise monies without any hassles and as early as possible. As far as the spot buys are concerned, we adopted a first come first serve basis - but the prospective spot buyers had to take the entire package as I mentioned earlier."

The series has attracted 54 advertisers in all and some of them are first timers. The list includes names such as ITC, Pfizer, Adidas, Nippo Batteries, Asahi Floats, Birla SunLife Insurance, Visa International, Ambuja Cement, General Motors, Club HP, Godfrey Phillips, Pizza Hut and Essel group's Playwin.

Doordarshan’s marketing division have been able to sell spot buys at an average rate of Rs 75,000 (plus Rs 35,000 for the test matches) for 10 seconds on DD Sports and Rs 65,000 (plus Rs 35,000 for test matches) for 10 seconds on DD National. This includes match highlights amongst others.

Chhabra also adds that her team will ensure that clutter levels are kept under control. "We shall work in close coordination with the DD programming team and production company Nimbus. Sufficient care will be taken to ensure that no balls are missed. We shall supervise the entire effort in order to avoid glitches," adds Chhabra.

The public broadcaster will also publicise the fact that it has the sole and exclusive rights. "We shall start a promotional campaign on all the affiliate DD channels. You must be aware that we have tied up with several publications for barter deals. We shall leverage such tie-ups and associations during this cricket series," says Chhabra.

Well, looks as if the sleeping giant is going to give a lot of sleepness nights to cable and satellite channels in October 2003.

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