Television

Sahara, DD ad sales revenues for England series to gross Rs 2.9 billion

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MUMBAI: It's all about advertising sales. That is clearly the revenue story for England's tour of India that kicks off 1 March.

This is amply borne out from the way the telecast rights for the India territory have been parcelled out by Nimbus Communications, the telecast rights holder to India cricket for the next four years.

The satellite rights are with Sahara One Television while Doordarshan is the terrestrial broadcaster. Both the channels are free-to-air so the only revenue stream will be advertising.

Advertisers will of course not be complaining with the arrangement that Nimbus chief Harish Thawani has managed since the two channels combined offer arguably the best possible "reach combo" available in the country today.

Calculations that Indiantelevision.com has made based on the card rates for the upcoming series indicate that gross revenues should be in the region of Rs 2.9 billion (Sahara Rs 1.65 billion, DD Rs 1.25 billion). This is the estimated gross that will be earned at the end of the 3 Tests and 7 ODIs that make up the current tour.

Media buyers that Indiantelevision.com spoke to indicate that Nimbus will be able to more or less hold these rates because they see them as "realistic" figures. Since Sahara has excellent connectivity in the Hindi speaking markets of 96 per cent (Tam data for HSM, average for Dec 05- Feb 06), and DD has an all-India spread, one thing that no advertiser will have worries over is connectivity.

THREE SPONSORS ALREADY SIGNED ON

Advertising bookings opened today and at the time of filing this report, three sponsors Reliance Infocomm, TVS and Coca Cola (all three are sponsoring on both networks) has signed on. Approximately 27 per cent of total available inventory has been being consumed by these three alone, a statement issued by nimbus says.

The statement further adds that three other sponsors, the deals for which are being finalised, are expected to take up a remaining 23 per cent. From the 40 per cent reserved for spot buys, approximately one half has been sold on the opening day.

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