With just one day to go for the much-awaited India vs Pakistan match on June 16 at the Old Trafford stadium in Manchester, fans across the world are praying for the weather to clear in the northwest of England.
According to Accuweather, spotty showers are expected over the stadium on Sunday. That could translate into heavy losses for the broadcaster, which expected to earn over ₹150 crore in ad revenue from the match.
Star Sports alone is reportedly expected to earn ₹137.5 crore from the India-Pakistan clash through advertisements. The channel has about 5,500 seconds of total inventory (the time slot they can sell to advertisers).
The rates for these slots are usually in the range of ₹1.6-1.8 lakh per second, but for India vs Pakistan the cost has spiralled to ₹2.5 lakh per second. But, that hasn’t discouraged the advertisers. In fact, there’s a rush.
Around 40 top advertisers including Uber, Coca-Cola, Amazon, OnePlus, MRF Tyres and PhonePe have already signed up for the slots.
Also, according to media agency Carat India’s senior executive Vinita Pachisia, there might not even be enough ad inventory left with Star Sports, the official broadcaster of the tournament to be sold for the India vs Pakistan matches. The broadcaster had sold off most of the inventory much in advance, which meant the advertisers interested in last-minute booking had to pay even higher price.
“Even if there is inventory left, it may be sold at 50 per cent higher rates than the current prices,” Pachisia told BusinessToday.In. “The inventory on World Cup was being sold as packages, which include all matches (India and non-India) customised as per brand requirements or outlays available,” she added.
What happens to the money advertisers spend if the match gets cancelled due to rain?
It depends upon the package the advertisers have purchased. Those who are supposed to play their ads on the live programme and not the analysis and highlights suffer the most. The time slot they have purchased gets carried forward to another match, but quite obviously the reach of an India vs Pakistan match cannot equal the match of let’s say India vs Bangladesh.
A clause in their contract ensures the carry forward of the time slot. “The broadcaster tries to use the missed inventory in the matches scheduled for later dates, on a like-to-like basis. This means that if an India match is cancelled, the advertiser can opt to use that free commercial time (FCT) on another India match, and same goes for a non-India match, FCT can be booked on another non-India match, provided there is inventory available on later matches,” said Pachisia.