After a good run in the tournament, the Indian cricket team was forced to bow out of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, following their defeat at the hands of the Australian team on Thursday. Following suit, the last-minute advertising and spot buys on the tournament will also see decreased enthusiasm.
India lost by 95 runs to Australia in a match that could have gone in any direction, had a score of 328 not been piled up on the board by the latter. This is the first semi-final in any cricket world cup where a playing nation has had to chase such a large target. Falling interest was evident even as the match was on. Seats at the Sydney Cricket Ground were rapidly going empty as Indian fans vacated the stadium the moment skipper M S Dhoni's wicket fell in the 44th over. He was billed as the last hope for India to scrape through to the finals.
Expectations were that if India were to reach the finals and face New Zealand in a fight to retain the trophy, advertisers would have shelled out as much as Rs 25 lakh per 10 seconds for last-minute spot-buys. Estimates now peg this rate at Rs 20 lakh.
Media planners say there will be no additional advertiser interest now that India have crashed out. Basabdutta Chowdhury, CEO, Platinum Media, part of the Madison Group, says, "Advertiser interest typically peaks when India moves up in the tournament. Since India's climb-up has been halted, there will be no additional advertiser interest. I don't expect ad rates to escalate any further."
Media planners say ad rates will continue to hover in the region of about Rs 20 lakh per 10 seconds, the rate during the semi-finals. STAR, say media planners, has barely any inventory left (5-10 per cent), having sold much of it in previous rounds, when India was still in contention. The final picture regarding who will take last-minute spots in the final match will become clear in a day, media planners said.
"Interest in the World Cup was there so long as India progressed in the tournament. The moment India is out of the reckoning, I don't think there will be takers for even the last bit of inventory that is left. It would be interesting to see how STAR handles this scenario," the chief executive of a media agency said.
However, there is a faction in the media planner fraternity that feels the New Zealand-Australia match will be closely followed by aficionados and some advertisers could be interested in buying inventory. However, how much they are willing to spend is a question that needs to be answered.
This also means the World Cup final in 2015 will not be able to repeat the feat of the 2011 edition of spot-buys, in the range of Rs 23 to Rs 24 lakh for 10 seconds. However, this edition's India-Pakistan match will continue to be the most expensive ad-inventory sale, at Rs 25 lakh for 10 seconds.AD MATTER