Television

Star India all set for Asia Cup 2016; ropes in 13 sponsors

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MUMBAI: Star India is all set for the Asia Cup, which kick-starts on 24 February and has roped in as many as 13 sponsors for the same.

The 50-over cricket format in today fast paced age is fading into oblivion with T-20 gaining prominence as a preferred format. The Asia Cup cricket tournament, which was rolled out by the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) in 1983 as a goodwill between Asian countries, will have its 16th edition in Bangladesh. The tournament faced its own set of challenges time and again as it fell prey to the political inconsistencies between India and Pakistan.

After the ACC was downsized by the International Cricket Council (ICC) in April 2015, it was announced that the upcoming Asia Cup events will be played on rotation basis in One Day International (ODI) and Twenty20 International (T20I) format based on respective next world events under the ICC. What this means is that the 2016 and 2020 events will be played using the T20I format, ahead of the 2016 and 2020 World Twenty20s, and the 2018 and 2022 events will be played in the ODI format, ahead of the 2019 and 2023 World Cups respectively. It is for the first time Asia Cup will played in the T-20 format. The announcement may be a heart-breaking one for traditional cricket lovers but it's certainly comes as icing on the cake for the official broadcaster - Star India.

?T-20 format is the only one, which is garnering full houses everywhere. This change in format gives the tournament a new dimension,? said a senior sports media planning expert.

Star India acquired the broadcasting rights of the tournament till 2023, and for the first edition it has roped in as many as 13 sponsors in Micromax, Magicbricks.com, Vimal Pan Masala, Shopclues.com, CEAT Tyres, Gillete March III, Britannia, Gaana.com, Idea, Raymond, Bharti Axa life insurance, Royal Stag and Karbonn Power Bank.

?The ad rates for a the matches will be close to Rs 4 lakh while the India VS Pakistan matches will command a higher price. Indo-Pak final can be a great boom for Star India as they can monetise it at a premium price,? asserts the expert.

According to sources, Star India acquired the telecast rights for approximately $40 million for four seasons till 2023. An executive from a rival channel said, ?We chose not to bid for it and as per my knowledge there was no bidder to place a bid in order to acquire the rights. But then after a mutual discussion between Star India and the association, they came to a consensus. The minimum slab was $13 million per season, which we thought was too high.?

Micromax has come in as the on-ground title sponsor, while Britannia is the ?powered by? sponsor. ?The title sponsor position was sold for Rs 8 crore, while Britannia dished out Rs 6 crore for the ?powered by? sponsorship. The tournament will see packed houses becoming a reality and hence it will be a good return on investment for brands that have come on board,? said the media planning expert.

The tourney will kick-start on 24 February and five teams will battle it out for Asian supremacy in Bangladesh. It now remains to be seen if the change in format rejuvenates the tournament.

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