labels: sony entertainment television, entertainment, marketing - general
SET Max to expand into Asian markets via Cricket World Cup news
Our Convergence Bureau
30 January 2003
Mumbai: The movie-cum-sports channel in the Sony Entertainment Television (SET) bouquet, SET Max, will soon start beaming programmes in a number of Asian countries like Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Singapore, Maldives, Malaysia and Pakistan with live action from the forthcoming ICC World Cup in South Africa.

Says SET Max executive vice-president Rajat Jain: “This is the first time that we are entering markets outside India.”

Sony India, which has obtained the seven-year cable and satellite telecast rights for ICC World Cup events from 2002 to 2007 for India and the subcontinent, including two World Cup tournaments (2003 and 2007), two Champions Trophy and under-19 tournaments, will directly market the World Cup in Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Maldives, while it has sub-licensed its telecast rights for the tournament to Ten Sports in Pakistan, Singapore Cable Vision in Singapore and Astro in Malaysia.

Even though the initial revenue generated from advertising and subscription in the new markets may not be substantial, Sony is looking at having a presence in these markets for SET Max.

As for the potential, Jain points out that movies and sports are key drivers of pay TV worldwide. He feels that apart from interest in cricket, all these markets have a good appetite for Bollywood movies and film-based programmes. “There is also a huge interest in cricket in these markets. For instance, the World Cup tournament is being marketed in Singapore at a retail price of around $55 per household.”

The entertainment channel, SET, already reaches out to over 70 markets across the globe including the US and UK. Sony has in the very recent past introduced a number of cricket related programming anchored by celebrities including Kapil Dev’s Kapil Dil Se.

Last week SET Max announced the launch of an NDTV-produced six-part interactive show, Jung World Cup Ki, as a run up to the World Cup. The one-hour show will be anchored by Rajdeep Sardesai and is scheduled to go on air on 3 February 2003.

Sony has sold most of its ad inventory for the World Cup and only about 25 per cent of ad spots remain to be sold, which, according to Jain, will be sold very soon. Other advertising bands such as Extraa Innings and live features such as action replays have been sold to sponsors that include brands like Hyundai, Jaguar, Yamaha, Sony and HLL brands.

The channel has also roped in Reliance Infocomm as one of the World Cup sponsors. Other sponsors include Pepsi, Samsung, Hero Honda and two HLL brands — Close Up and Clinic All Clear.

Jain, however, is not willing to reveal the exact revenues to be generated from cricket. “The network expects to get back about 85 per cent of the ad spend on television related to the World Cup. The remaining would go to Doordarshan and its marketing agents WSG Nimbus. We are not yet regretting the huge price paid to acquire the World Cup rights.”

Advertising industry professionals and broadcasters have pegged a figure of around Rs 400 crore as ad-spend during the two-month long World Cup tournament. Viewership figures for the forthcoming World Cup are expected to break all previous records. Jain says Sony expects at least 85 per cent of the 40-million cable households to tune in to the World Cup in India.


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SET Max to expand into Asian markets via Cricket World Cup