T20 gives soaps run for ad money

Written by Alokananda Chakraborty | New Delhi, Sep 24 | Updated: Sep 25 2007, 06:27am hrs
Media observers see the Twenty20 format emerging as a strong competitor to weekend soaps or special broadcasts by television channels, much in the lines of British weekend soccer fixtures. I can see it as an alternative to soccer, says Harish Krishnamachar, managing director, Iconix, the talent management agency that handles Sachin Tendulkars portfolio.

In that sense, the Twenty20 World Championship has taken forward the good work that Mandira Bediwith her noodle straps and ever-plunging necklineset out to do in 2002: rope in more viewers. Early indications are that Indias Twenty20 matches have managed to record 40% more viewership than Indias ODIs in 2006.

Points out Atul Phadnis, chief evangelist, Media e2e, a media technology and consulting company, There were serious apprehensions among advertisers before the event: will people understand the format Will they accept it Will it grow the overall viewership opportunity The viewership the event telecast has generated created a lot of excitement, especially among large FMCG companies.

The event has also thrown up new heroesRobin Uthappa, Rohit Sharma, Joginder Sharma, Sreesanth and RP Singh. Of course, one event is not the right way to gauge their brand endorsement potential, says Samir Kale, managing director, CMCG, and president, SportzPR. But dont be surprised if they are signed up by strong local brands. They would be more value for money compared with a Sachin or a Dravid. Of course, not everyone is impressed. Shashi Kalathil, CEO, Neo Sports, urges advertisers to exercise caution: If the logic is the shorter the format the more excitement it will generate, then hockey and soccer would have high numbers.