Hearing MAX and the DD-Nimbus combine tell it, it would appear that
both sides are well on target to achieve their sales targets for
the forthcoming World Cup cricket 2003. Nimbus chairman and MD Harish
Thawani had earlier claimed that DD would get Rs 2.1 billion worth
of ad sales.
Nimbus sales team seem to be projecting a confident face despite
the initial reservations expressed by media planners that the target
amount of Rs 2.1 billion seemed to be too optimistic. Media specialists
had claimed that DD would get anything between Rs 1.5-1.8 billion.
However, many including Lodestar Media's executive director Shashi
Sinha feel that the terrestrial channel will do better than expectations.
media executives have confirmed that Nimbus has sent out a list
of the properties that have been sold out as of 6 January 2003.
Nimbus also seems to have addressed the concerns of media planners
and buyers by reducing the number of spots available per match from
6,000 to around 5,400. Sony's MAX will have commercial time of 4,500
to 4,800 seconds per match. The MAX team has been claiming that
it has carefully designed the advertising sales package to ensure
that advertisers will experience minimal clutter and viewers will
have an enriching and satisfying experience.
chairman and MD Harish Thawani claims: "All our efforts in
the pre-sales phase have paid rich dividends in terms of actual
conversions. Without giving away any specific details, I can assert
that we have received an enthusiastic response from the advertisers."
Nimbus has intimated the agencies that all the pull-throughs have
been sold and listed out the other properties that were still up
for grabs. Media sources say that Nimbus has closed bookings for
the following properties.
had earlier claimed that advertisers could avail of ‘Flexi-buys’
wherein they could pick & choose the matches; top it up with
individual match buys and even specify position in matches.
current status is as follows:
Out of the three available match clusters namely the pool, Super
Sixes, semi-finals and finals, everything has been sold except for
one-two matches of the Super Sixes. Advertisers buying 100 seconds
or more in these clusters have obtained an overall volume discount
ranging betrween 7.5 per cent to 12.5 per cent in addition to the
Out of the 'pick-n-choose' option, the only matches that have failed
to click seem to be the India-Namibia match (Sunday, 23 February
2003) and India-Holland match (Wednesday, 12 February 2003).
of the total of ten broadcast sponsorships; four presenting broadcast
sponsors (Rs 108.8 million per sponsor) and six associate broadcast
sponsors (Rs 78.4 million each), Nimbus seems to have sold six sponsorship
positions including all the presenting broadcast sponsorship positions.
categories who seem to have taken the above properties include the
following: two-wheelers, TV manufacturers, soft drinks, telecom,
banking and insurance and automobiles. Clearly, the brands such
as Hero Honda, LG Electronics and Pepsi would feature in the above
list. One would recall that LG Electronics had chosen to go with
DD during the recent Champions Trophy in September 2002 as it wasn't
getting cost-effective rates from MAX.
Thawani, however, refused to divulge any specific names: "There
is cut-throat competition in certain sectors such as the banking/insurance
sector and the telecom sector. We wouldn't like to release any details
of the marketing plans and initiatives of these sponsors. Most probably,
the plans would be unfolded by the companies as soon as they are
ready with the support activities," Thawani adds.
MAX has already roped in Pepsi, Hero Honda and two of Hindustan
Lever Limited (HLL) brands as sponsors. SET ad sales head Rohit
Gupta, however, has not revealed the name of the two HLL brands.
will finalise and let us know within a week which of the two brands
they want to advertise on our network during the World Cup matches,
Gupta has been quoted as saying in media reports. Thawani maintains
that HLL has been speaking to DD-NImbus and is confident that the
FMCG giant can't afford to ignore the mass penetration of DD.
have already consumed 60 per cent of our inventory, said Gupta.
He confirmed that five out of the six live properties including
action replays, fall of wickets, pull throughs, fours and Master
Blaster have already been sold to various sponsors. Sixes
is the only one in the 'live' properties that is open for sponsorship,
Innings will be sold separately in order to rope in the one-off
advertisers who might have mega-budgets to spend on the 'live' matches.
We might look at several sponsors and encourage non-regular
categories to adopt the off-beat and innovative programming. Telecom,
four wheelers, television and white goods are the categories we
are targeting for this segment, said Gupta. Another SET official
claims that the categories sold by both the parties would give an
indication of how each channel is viewed by the advertisers and
media sources also state that the Nimbus team has not managed to
get a good response for the pre-match programming on DD. Nimbus
officials had earlier claimed that the world feed would start 15
minutes before the 'live' match. DD is developing a 1-hour capsule
prior to the 'live' match and a 30-minute capsule after the match.
MAX has nearly two hours of pre-match and post-match programming.
by the enthusiastic response, the Nimbus sales team seemed to have
gone on an extended leave for the New Year. None of them were available
till 6 January. The MAX team also seems to be confidence-personified.
However, the media specialists and advertisers seem to be the ones
playing the waiting game till rates become more cost-effective!
Cup Cricket 2003: DD and Nimbus claim victory...in advance!!!
MAX confident of selling
inventory by mid-Jan '03
with Nimbus chairman and MD Harish Thawani
Interview with MAX
executive vice president and business head Rajat Jain