In a somewhat dramatic turn
of events, public sector Prasar Bharti outbid private sector player Nimbus for
the marketing rights for upcoming India-Pakistan series, which started on November
Any India - Pakistan
cricket series is a serious money spinner for broadcasters and advertisers alike,
as millions of Indians sit glued to their televisions for hours on end.
the provisions of the Sports Act, a broadcaster who maximises the revenue has
the right to market the tournament.
recently, Neo Sports was selling commercial time for the series as a composite
package, i.e. Neo Sports and Doordarshan, at Rs3.5 to Rs3.75 lakh for a 10-second
spot, with the deal accounting for a lion''s share of 80-85 per cent of Neo''s ad-inventory.
Neo was reportedly charging Rs2 lakh for a ten second spot on Neo Sports alone.
Consequently, deals Nimbus had struck as a composite-buy along with Doordarshan
was offered Rs97 crore gross, that is Rs64 crore for 5 ODIs and Rs32 crore for
3 test matches (Rs81.25 crore net) to market commercial time on DOORDARSHAN alone.
ADoordarshanitionally, Nimbus will get 75 per cent of the revenue generated by
Doordarshan as mandated by the Union government.
that have signed deals with Neo for composite commercial time were seen trying
to rework their deals over the weekend, with industry sources indicating that
Neo Sports new asking price for a ten-second slot is NOW around Rs1.4 to Rs1.8
lakh, and in some cases, even as low as Rs1.2 lakh.
that Doordarshan has the rights, sources in media buying agencies indicate that
advertisers are keen to strike independent deals with the public sector broadcaster,
as a means to ensuring their presence in front of eyeballs in non-cable and satellite
homes as well. Avid advertisers, such as LG Electronics, Perfetti, Nokia, Pidilite,
S Kumars, HDFC, Hero Honda, RCom, Airtel, Vodafone and IOC are learnt to be among
those who have chosen to signed up independently with Doordarshan as sponsors.
the numbers stacked in favour of Doordarshan, some corporates such as Proctor
and Gamble (P&G), Asian Paints, and Godrej among others, were reported to
be negotiating with Neo. Neo Sports CEO Shashi Kalathil said his company is trying
to get advertisers a good deal on the series.
again, most advertising and sponsorship deals with Doordarshan have been re-done
at rates ranging from Rs2.5 to Rs2.75 lakh for a ten-second spot for the one-day
internationals (ODIs), and Rs80,000 for a ten-second spot for test matches. Doordarshan
is expected to put away around Rs150-180 crore from the entire series.
chairman Harish Thawani is trying to take the loss in his stride, saying that
"it''s a good deal from Doordarshan, and both Doordarshan and Neo Sports can
focus independently on their channels." However, the pain seemed evident
when he said, "If Neo is unable to meet its earlier targets, so be it."
the loss Neo Sports would incur on account of the painful weekend, Kalathil pointed
out that Doordarshan''s bid of Rs81.5 crore, plus the rates at which it is selling
the series will ensure that Neo''s revenues are not impacted, since 75 per cent
of Doordarshan''s sales would trickle down to Neo. However, industry sources indicate
that had Neo Sports retained its earlier position as the official marketing agent
for the series, it would raked in about Rs180-200 crore, of which a little under
Rs150 crore would have been Neo''s revenues, and 25 per cent would have gone to
would put Neo''s short fall at around Rs40-60 crore below its target.
anchor partner, Kishore Biyani and his Future Group was definitely peeved with
all the last-minute cacophony, given the "constant state of flux" in
cricket, which can be "quite disturbing for advertisers". He made no
bones about the inconvenience of having to "restructure and re-price deals
at the nth hour."
a related development, the public broadcaster Prasar Bharati told the Delhi High
Court that the BCCI and Neo Sports were in no position to force it to encrypt
the live feed of cricket matches, during a hearing of a petition by BCCI and Nimbus
Communications seeking a direction to encrypt Doordarshan''s signals to avoid illegal
transmission of the live feed by private operators.
Bharati''s counsel Dushyant Dave contended that private broadcasters sharing live
feed under the Sports Act (Mandatory Sharing of Feed) do not have legal right
to ask for encryption of feed. Nimbus had suggested that the public broadcaster
issue instructions to cable operators to cease and desist from indulging in piracy,
to which Prasar Bharati responded that Nimbus was free to take action against
cable operators by filing suits against them.