Indian Cricket Team at Gabba in Brisbase. (Photo Credit: Instagram/Indian Cricket Team)
After a year-long gap, cricket is returning to India thanks to England's tour of India which will start from February 5 with Test matches, followed by T20 matches and One Day Internationals (ODIs) in March.
The highly anticipated series will feature four Tests, five T20Is, and three ODIs between India and England.
According to a media planner who didn't wish to be named, ad rates for England's tour of India is being sold at around 10 percent premium as compared to India's tour of Australia.
He pointed out that ad rates for Test matches are in the range of Rs 1.25 lakh to Rs 1.5 lakh for a 10-second slot. Ad rates for ODIs are between Rs 5 lakh and Rs 6 lakh, and for T20 matches the rates are anywhere between Rs 9 lakh and Rs 10 lakh.
The media planner said match timings of England's tour of India are one reason why advertisers are showing more interest as the tournament is likely to get more eyeballs.
Sharing similar sentiments, Lloyd Mathias, Business Strategist and Angel Investor, said the closely fought India-Australia series has been a big boost for cricket viewership and has raised the bar on the England series starting next month.
"The pandemic resulted in a long absence of live sport that the IPL in October-November and the Indian tour of Australia lifted. With England, the reigning World Cup champions, and a top-class test side, the expectations and viewership will be huge," added Mathias.
According to the estimates of media planners, Star India is likely to earn around Rs 500 crore from advertising for England's tour of India.
In terms of categories, Mathias said that e-commerce platforms, ed-tech, online gaming and FMCG firms will be most interested. "As the England series runs through February-March leading into the long Indian summer, one may also see the beverage majors looking to get in," he added.
Sanjog Gupta, Head - Sports, Star India, in a statement said Star Sports has a fantastic calendar of cricket starting with the England tour of India which will kick-start bilateral cricket for the year. "We also look forward to broadcasting another season of IPL (Indian Premier League) and the T20 World Cup,” he added.
India vs England series will be available in five languages including English, Hindi, Kannada, Tamil and Telugu on Star Sports 1/HD, Star Sports 1 Hindi/HD, Star Sports 1 Kannada, Star Sports 1 Tamil and Star Sports 1 Kannada.
After the 13th edition of IPL, Test cricket is bringing ad volumes and ad revenues as well as viewer interest back to sports channels.
Sports channels were the hardest hit due to coronavirus impact as viewership dropped 69 percent between March 14 and 20 as compared to the pre-COVID period (period between January 11 and 31), according to Broadcast Audience Research Council of India (BARC).
With the drop in viewership, ad revenue also fell significantly for sports channels.
However, IPL changed the game for sports channels and now it is Test cricket that is helping them stay in the game.
The media planner quoted above said both ad volumes and ad spends have gone back to pre-COVID levels on sports channels.
Adding to this, Mathias said: "Sports channels were badly hit last year with the pandemic taking a toll on live sport. Moreover, iconic sporting events like Wimbledon and Tokyo Olympics were cancelled. The surge in cricket interest will be the much-needed boost for sports channels."