SET to simulcast key Champions Trophy & World Cup matches on Max, Sab

MUMBAI: Sony Entertainment Television (SET) India is gearing up full on for the Champions Trophy in October and the World Cup in West Indies early next year. The target this time round is to be armed cap-a-pie, thus leaving no stone unturned to garner maximum eyeballs and revenues.

With an aim to eat into the viewership of Doordarshan, SET will simulcast key India matches, the semi-finals and the finals of both tournaments on Max and Sab.

While the feed on Max will be in English with its own set of commentators for Extraaa Innings, the feed on Sab will be in Hindi. "Today DD gets 30 per cent of its viewership from cable and satellite homes, where people prefer to watch the matches because of the Hindi commentary. Now with Sab having a Hindi feed, we will be able to eat into the C&S share of DD during the matches. It is a huge chunk of the market, which we want to own," SET India executive vice president (ad sales & revenue management) Rohit Gupta tells

"DD was getting its viewership for cricket matches not just from UP and MP but even from Delhi. Our aim is to own the entire Hindi C&S space with the upcoming tournaments in our kitty and that is the proposition we are giving to advertisers. In a way we are also looking at eating into the revenue shares of DD," he asserts.

Apart from this, a lot of brands that were buying air time space on Max, were also doing so on DD during the earlier matches. But now with a combination of Max and Sab, they don't need to do that barring some brands like Lifebuoy, which have a specific rural focus, Gupta argues. The Champions Trophy, it is worth noting, will be held during the festive season (7 October to 5 November), which is when most brands will be active to the hilt. Even the World Cup in March-April will see a slew of brands upping their advertising before the peak summer months, he adds.

Brands such as Maruti and Hero Honda, to name a few, who were buying 300 - 500 seconds of advertising time on DD, need not buy more than 100 seconds now because of the package that they will be getting in Max and Sab, is the point that Gupta and his team will be trying to drive home to advertisers in the coming months.

"While the television universe extended to 35 million homes the last time the Champions Trophy was played, this time it has increased to 70 million homes. We expect to see Sab hitting a different level with this because of the sheer viewership," says Gupta.

What's more, in order to encash on the scaled viewership post the Champions Trophy, Sab will be launching a slew of new shows. "The idea is to use cricket as a platform to take Sab to a different level," he states.

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