Rs 10 lakh for 10 seconds: Advertisers upset as rain spoils Ind vs NZ match

ICC Cricket World Cup - India v New Zealand India fans pose
As the rain refused to relent, the ongoing ICC Cricket World Cup saw its fourth match being called off due to unsuitable weather. Earlier, Sri Lanka versus Pakistan (June 7), South Africa versus West Indies (June 10), and Bangladesh versus Sri Lanka (June 11)  were also abandoned due to rain.

For advertisers on the Star Sports network, the India-New Zealand tie was among the crucial matches from the return on investment point of view. Star India, the official broadcaster of International Cricket Council (ICC) events in India, went to market with two main packages — all world cup matches, and only India matches. The rates for the latter package are significantly higher, given the interest in India’s performance during the tournament.

For sponsors which have bought ad-spots beforehand, sources reveal that India matches have cost in the range of Rs 8 lakh to Rs 10 lakh per 10 seconds, while brands wanting to sponsor all 48 matches have shelled out in the range of Rs 4 lakh to Rs 5 lakh for 10 seconds of on-air advertising. However, the spot rates for a match like India versus New Zealand would have sky-rocketed, given that both teams remain unbeaten in the tournament so far.

Going into the tournament, Star India had managed to sell almost 85-90 per cent of inventory for India matches, and nearly 55-60 per cent of the non-India matches.

“India have been playing well, and so have New Zealand. Even though its mid-week, the interest for the match was decent. The spot rates for India matches have gone up to Rs 12 lakh to Rs 14 lakh per 10 seconds,” says a planner in the know. By industry estimates, the India-New Zealand match could have ad in excess of Rs 25 crore riding on it.

However, with not a single ball bowled, the investment seems to have been void. While advertisers which bought spots on the non-live programming still managed to get some bang for their buck, those which bought commercial time for the live match faced a challenge since the match was never played.

Planners, however, explain that advertising contracts include a clause that ensures that advertisers are in some way compensated for the loss of play. “It could be in the form of commercial time on other live matches or some form of refund. These are all valid possibilities and so contingency measures are taken,” explains a media buyer. It is not clear how the broadcaster will compensate for the loss of live play time.

On the broadcaster’s end, the insurance clause covers any loss of revenue that occurs due to inclement weather. The only caveat is that the clause protecting the broadcaster kicks in only if not a single ball is bowled. In case of the India-New Zealand match, since the toss itself did not take place, the insurance clause should protect Star India’s investments towards the match.

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