Attention – Due To Allegations of Plagiarism, This Article Is Highly Suspect 

Two years ago, a sports marketing executive walked into the plush Mumbai office of a global consumer durables major. His aim was to get the company on board for a tennis tournament. The opportunity: to build brand around a niche sport. The response was, not surprisingly, an unequivocal no. “Our money is already tied up in cricket was the refrain I got over and over again,” the executive recalls.

The worm has turned. In the World Cup 2007, India did not even make it to the second round. And, the shunned sports executive stands vindicated. According to Mindshare, the media buying arm of Group M advertisers stand to incur losses of over Rs 163 crore just on the basis of on-air advertising on Sony Entertainment Television (SET). “As a result, I believe brands will not sign on cricketers for some time to come,” admits Anirban Das Blah, VP, Globosport, which manages cricketers such as Zaheer Khan and Dinesh Kaarthick.

Hardening its stand against advertisers seeking revision of contract after India’s debacle in the cricket World Cup, broadcaster Sony Entertainment Television today said it will not review the agreed deals.

“There is no question for any renegotiation. We have signed contracts for the long term which are not terminable and there is no scope for negotiations,” Sony Entertainment Executive Vice-President (Revenues) Rohit Gupta told PTI.

Hinting that the demand for revising the advertising rates after India’s early exit from the World Cup, which has resulted in drastic drop in viewership, was unfair, he said the reports of SET officials meeting advertisers was not meant for renegotiation of the sealed contracts.

“We do not control team India’s fortune or luck, so advertisers cannot ask us to reduce rate after the team’s exit. If India were to be in finals we would not have asked them to pay double,” Gupta said.

Advertisers were hoping the channel would consider their demands for revising the rates following drop in viewership.

“From advertisers’ point of view, both parties acknowledge there has been value erosion after India’s exit. They (Sony) have to help advertisers to overcome problem,” MindShare Managing Director Sundar Raman said.

MindShare has clients such as Pepsico and Motorola among others who have booked airtime on SET for the World Cup.

According to industry estimates, a 10-second slot is priced at around Rs 1.5 lakhs and SET has raked in about Rs 500 crores from ad deals for the ongoing World Cup.

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