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India's tour of Australia 2020: Will WFH give a boost to viewership figures?

The broadcast rights holder Sony Pictures Sports Networks too is expecting to cash in on the pent-up demand for live Indian cricket team action.

November 24, 2020 / 09:37 PM IST

The Indian cricket team will be back in action after a gap which has not been witnessed by followers who have grown up watching them live on the tube. Locking horns with Australia in what promises to be a riveting battle between the two sides, the interest among fans can be expected to be very high despite the IPL getting over only a few weeks ago.

The broadcast rights holder Sony Pictures Sports Networks too is expecting to cash in on the pent-up demand for live Indian cricket team action. Sony has reportedly roped in around 15 sponsors and is expecting a growth of 25-30 percent revenues compared to the last series.

So, will it be able to make the most of the WFH schedule as the broadcast timings suit cricket-crazy professionals?

Lloyd Mathias, business strategist and angel investor, said the broadcast timings of the matches will ensure that working professionals will get to catch it live on television.

"I think one of the major behavioural shifts due to this COVID situation has been that people are now spending a lot of time inside their homes. The saving of time due to lack of commuting to workplaces is definitely going to boost viewership," he told Moneycontrol.

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He said the FMCG brands may make a comeback while the new generation companies will continue to remain active.

"I expect the FMCG brands to come back into advertising. A lot of companies which kept out of IPL will now make a comeback as resumption of business activities has seen an upswing in their sales," he added.

However, according to Sandeep Goyal, Chairman, Mogae Media, the broadcast timings may not be very attractive for many companies while the absence of Virat Kohli for a major part of the Test series will also have an adverse impact on the viewership.

“I feel the broadcast timings are not very attractive for advertisers. Also, most companies have recently spent on IPL broadcast. The absence of Virat Kohli too is going to be a big factor. As the festive season is over, many car manufacturers will likely stay away because sales in November and December are tepid. However, IPL’s viewership figures denote that the ‘saleability’ of cricket is intact. So, I expect Sony to earn around Rs 250-300 crore in ad revenues,” he told Moneycontrol.
Soumalya Santikari Having started off as a sports scribe, I made the sobering transition to business journalism in 2014. Always up for belling the cat.
first published: Nov 24, 2020 09:35 pm

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