NEW DELHI: The ongoing tiff between TV programme producers and cine workers association which has left general entertainment channels (GECs) without fresh programming, coupled with Indian cricket team’s Test series win over Australia, has helped Neo Sports Broadcast-owned Neo Cricket channel to sell the seven match India-England ODI cricket series beginning November 14.
Says NEO Sports Broadcast marketing & communications head Abhishek Verma: “We have seven sponsors for the India-England one-dayers. Hero Honda is the title sponsor while the others include Airtel, Microsoft, RBS, P&G, Champions League by ESPN and Pepsi.”
Says Havas Media CEO Anita Nair: “Ad spends have definitely shifted from GECs to cricket, movies and news channels. This must have helped Neo a great deal.” ESPN official spokesperson confirmed that the channel was one of the sponsors for the India-England ODI series on Neo Cricket. Says Hero Honda senior V-P (marketing & sales) Anil Dua: “We are title sponsors for the ODI series. We are also the main sponsor for telecast on Neo Sports.”
The channel claims to have sold more than 75% of the ad inventory for the ODI tourney. The channel had set itself a target of earning Rs 285 crore from the broadcast of this year’s cricket season that includes domestic cricket tournaments like Irani Trophy, Challenger Series and international cricket events like the India-Australia Test series and the England’s tour of India. “Of course, the stalemate between GECs and producers is helping us a lot. Besides, our channel’s ratings for the final India-Australia Test were higher than those of GECs like Star Plus and Colors,” adds Mr Verma.
Neo Cricket is selling 10-second ad spots for these ODIs at about Rs 2.5-2.75 lakh. The two Test series will be played from December 11 to 23. The channel is selling Test spots at Rs 1 lakh, the same as that for the India-Australia Test series.