ESS targets Rs 1 bn from Champions League Twenty20

MUMBAI: ESPN Star Sports (ESS) has set itself a revenue target of Rs 1 billion from airtime and on-ground advertisers for the Champions League Twenty20 cricket tourney.

Nokia, which replaced Airtel as the title sponsor, will be spending Rs 1 billion over four years, according to market sources. Airtel had stitched a five-year deal for Rs 1.7 billion.

ESS has signed up Toshiba as a sponsor for Rs 70 million, out of which Rs 42.5 million is for airtime commercials on the channel and the rest is for on-ground, sources add.

ESS is looking for two co-presenting and six associate airtime sponsors for the cricket event that takes place from 23 September-9 October. The company also wants to rope in six associate on-ground sponsors.

A company official said on condition of anonymity that ESS had earned a revenue of Rs 900 million from the last edition. He, however, did not give the split between on-air and on-ground revenues.

According to estimates, ESS can earn Rs 550 million from airtime commercials and Rs 350 million from on-ground sponsors.

Madison Media Group CEO Punitha Arumugam said that two factors work in favour of this year‘s event. "It is happening just before the festive season. Also, the timings will be good as it is taking place in India. However, whether it generates the required buzz and talk is something that remains to be seen. Besides, India‘s poor performance against England could have its impact on viewership for the tournament."

The previous two editions disappointed in TV audience ratings, but ESS has made serious efforts to promote the property. While Amitabh Bachchan was the brand ambassador for the event last year, this time ESS has roped in Shah Rukh Khan.

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