it had cricket, Neo Sports also found the going tough. Its distribution deal with
Star fell through. This cost it crores of rupees in terms of ad revenue not to
mention the fact that the payments that were contractually due to Neo were delayed
- or never arrived. It set up its own distribution team headed by Arun Poddar.
But without branding in the market monies it got would have been affected.
the advertising front Neo Sports CEO Shashi Kalathil says that the fact that DD
bid heavily to do its own marketing for the Pakistan series proved to be a boon.
It added Rs. 180 million its kitty, claims Kalathil.
Encryption: There is no respite for sports broadcasters on this issue. Sports
feed to DD will not to be encrypted for four to five years. This will impact all
the players, more so Neo Sports since it holds the India rights.
terms of other sports ESS is re-jigging its Premier Hockey League (PHL) initiative.
ESPN had to be careful and innovate the strategy this year since there are a lesser
number of teams - this being the Olympic selection year and most top international
players being busy - and so the duration of the tourney is also shorter. The media
fraternity though, feels that PHL is still to attain some sort of sizeable recognition
even though ESS has been doing it for the past few years.
brings home an F1 Team: The biggest non cricket event though was news that
Vijay Mallya bought the Dutch F1 team Spyker Ferrari. It was then renamed Force
1 India. This news coupled with the fact that India will hold an F1 event a few
years down the road is expected to give a boost to motor racing in the country
in a big way.
Information available with Indiantelevision.com
indicates that the sports genre earned around Rs. 7.5 billion this year. ESS made
around Rs. 2.2 billion. Ten Sports and Zee Sports combined made around Rs. 700
million. Sony made Rs 3 billion.
says that the biggest learning is that everything depends on performance. "When
India does well clients get a very healthy return. But when they do not it can
be disastrous which is what happened with the World Cup. Hundreds of crores were
lost by clients. T20 was a success more due to India's performance in the form
of the game as opposed to the format itself."
India fared poorly in the T20 World Cup also the mood would have been very different.
Some fringe clients who occasionally invest in cricket got out after the World
Cup experience. India's failure to quality for the Super Eight is something that
will haunt some clients and media planners for a long while. The premiums paid
were so high that it was impossible for anybody to prepare for what was to follow."
what about talks of accountability? Sinha notes that it is practically difficult
apart from maybe a couple of big clients to do this. Venkateish maintains that
ESS did not fall into this trap. "After all clients who get involved know
that there are ups and downs. If the ratings for a tournament are great we do
not ask those who have already signed on to pay more. So why should we take less?"
India executive VP Rohit Gupta adds that for clients like Pepsi it balances out
in the long term. "The 2003 World Cup was a bonanza. Yes the 2007 World Cup
was bad but then things turned for the better. Most clients who get involved understand
this. They are in for the long haul. In addition for each category there are several
companies vying for a spot. So in telecom if Reliance for instance pulls out of
cricket there will always be an Idea or Vodafone to step in."
is pertinent to note that clients who kept the faith and got in early for the
England series and especially the T20 World Cup got a terrific bang for their
buck. After all the net effect of the World Cup debacle was that clients were
able to negotiate better rates for the events that immediately followed.
conclusion, what both IPL and ICL bring to the Twenty20 table is that it is all
to the good for the stakeholders - because it derisks cricket.