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India entry into Super Sixes sees MAX jack up cricket spot rates

MUMBAI: Welcome to the party but be ready to pay some serious money for the pleasure. That's what Sony Entertainment Television is telling advertisers who want to hop on to the Indian team's victory band wagon as the cricket World Cup 2003 gets ready to kick off the Super Sixes.

Though SET ad sales head Rohit Gupta is not throwing around any numbers, neither does he see a figure of $50,000 (Rs 2,382,500 at today's exchange rate of Rs 47.65 to the dollar) for a 30-second spot as being outrageously prohibitive.

Gupta points out that there is not that much ad inventory left to sell in the first place. Between 10 to 12 spots (30-seconders) is all that SET has on offer per match for the 12 matches from the Super Sixes up to the final. That is a total of 300 to 400 seconds per match, says Gupta.

And for those who think that they can pick and choose the matches on which to put their advertising, that will not be possible. Spot buy packages for all 12 games is what Gupta expects advertisers to sign on to. Because there is limited inventory and considering that advertisers will have to take a a full 12-game package if they want to advertise, Gupta is expecting that three to four advertisers will complete the list.

Queried as to how he expected to get the kind of rates that are being bandied about, Gupta draws comparisons with Balaji's top soap Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi, which at its peak was commanding Rs 500,000 per ten second slot on Star Plus. If a half-hour show could extract those rates then the cricket, which according to Gupta was expected to garner TVRs above 20, were worth the cost in terms of deliveries, he said.

The good showing of the Indian team is certainly proving a boon in more ways than one.

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