ESPN Star Sports eyes big gains from Indo-Pak series

MUMBAI: India?s battering at the hands of English team notwithstanding, sports broadcaster ESPN Star Sports has almost sold out its ad inventory for the upcoming India-Pakistan series.

The sports broadcaster has roped in nine sponsors, including four joint presenting and five associate sponsors, for the two T20s and three ODIs.

The joint presenting sponsors include Havell?s, Celikon Impex, Hero Moto Corp, and Micromax LED TV, while the associate sponsors are Coca Cola, Vodafone, Karbonn Tablets, Cadbury and Pidilite.

ESPN Software India EVP Ad Sales Sanjay Kailash said, "We started off with a target to have four joint presenting sponsor and six associate sponsors. As of now, we have signed four joint presenting and five associate. There are multiple spot buyers as well."

ESS was asking for 800,000 per 10 second spot for the ODIs and a mind-boggling Rs 900,000-1 million for T20s. Advertisers say the price is too steep even from an India-Pakistan series point of view.

ESS, however, claims it has achieved whatever internal revenue targets it had set. "We have monetised India Pakistan ODIs at a rate which is double as compared to the historical industry average. Even rates for India Pakistan T20 are double than the most sought after T20 tournament in the country," Kailash said. In all, we are sitting pretty having achieved our targets. There is a minuscule inventory which is yet to be sold but we are confident that the same will be done in the next two days.?

The two arch rivals are engaging in a bi-lateral series after a gap of more than five years. The two teams last time locked horns in ICC Twenty20 World Cup in Sri Lanka this year.

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