MUMBAI: Team India lives another day to play the dream semifinal against Pakistan and that means advertisers, who banked on the 50- over World Cup, feel they have got a bigger bang for their buck than expected.It’s not only the advertisers, the ICC World Cup is turning out to be a jackpot for the broadcaster ESPN Star Sports (ESS) as well. Media planners told TOI that ESS has hiked its advertising rates-the amount a brand pays to be seen on air-to as much as Rs 17-18 lakh for a ten second spot for the India-Pakistan semifinal scheduled to be played in Mohali on March 30. This is a huge jump from Rs 3.5- 4 lakh for a ten second spot the broadcaster charged before the start of the tournament.ESS got on board brands like Britannia and Nike, which paid about Rs 8-9 lakh for a ten second spot during Thursday’s quarterfinal encounter between India-Australia.
“There are very few spots left. We are definitely looking at substantially higher rates as compared to what we were selling before the tournament started,” said Sanjay Kailash, executive VP-ad sales & new media, ESPN Software India. Sports broadcasters usually keep about 10% unsold inventory to bag so that they can charm a premium for it at the last leg of the tournament.”The World Cup has delivered impressive ratings and has proved to be an instant reach builder for all our clients. We are exploring some buys for the semifinal as well considering the kind of huge platform it will offer to advertisers,” said Madison Media CEO Basab Datta Chowdhury. Most media planners said they will either look to buy more inventory for existing clients or get new advertisers on board, especially brands which are planning to launch new campaigns. Media agency Maxus, which bought spots for its clients Vodafone, Nokia, Hero Honda, Fiat, besides others, said the increased rates make sense. “If you paid Rs 3 lakh for a rating of 2 or 3, its OK to pay in the range of Rs 15 lakh for a 20 rating for an India-Pak match,” said Ajit Varghese, MD, Maxus India. – TOI