Doordarshan, the monopoly broadcaster for the Commonwealth Games, may have suffered from poor marketing and bad publicity in media for the games organisers despite a spectacular opening ceremony on Sunday.
While industry experts say all this may be true, the action is now shifting to the closing ceremony and other events of the Games with an indication of a scramble to make up for lost opportunity after the inaugural delivered on a big scale.
In terms of numbers, ratings agency aMap put the inaugural’s viewership numbers at 29 million people with a peak rating of 4.3 per cent (of viewership at that time).
Navin Khemka, executive vice-president at media agency Zenith Optimedia, said, “The opportunity was not sold well by Doordarshan. The initial packages they invited advertisers on had very high rates – higher than major cricket events. Club that with the negative publicity that the build-up to the Commonwealth Games got, and advertisers were not very interested.”
Media agency sources say that Doordarshan asked for Rs 10 to 15 crore per advertiser on the overall advertising package for the 10-day CWG, across DD and DD Sports.
Compare that with the current India-Australia cricket, or a bi-lateral (India-Sri Lanka) series at R4 to 7 crore. Advertisers find the DD price too high. They say a long-stretching IPL package cost between R20 crore and R30 crore, justifiable in cricket-crazy India.
However, some brands such as Airtel and Spice did make use of the opening ceremony said Punitha Arumugam, group CEO at media agency Madison.
“Advertisers will definitely approach DD, especially for the closing ceremony, now that the opening has gone so well,” said a major advertiser, who asked not to be identified.