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The Cup and that sinking feeling...

Almost half of Rs 12,000 crore riding on India may get wiped out if the team makes an early exit, reports Venkatesh Ganesh.

business Updated: Mar 18, 2007 21:50 IST

Armed with his television remote, Amol Dalvi is a dangerous man right now. The 28-year-old man from Malad threatens to switch off the set the day India go out of the World Cup.

Admittedly, a few million cricket fans across the country would do the same.

The looming prospect of the team's early exit from the tournament has brought cold sweat for sponsors and endorsers of brands, restaurant and pub owners and even exhibitors. After all, about 40 per cent of the Rs 12,000 crore (figures estimated by senior officials across companies like Samsung, LG, Cinemax and Coca Cola) that rides on the Men in Blue could get wiped out in a flash if they make an early exit.

Who gets affected
• Tour operators and travel agents
• Airlines
• TV manufacturers
• DTH companies
• Restaurants and pubs
• Beverages, soft drinks, alcohol co
This includes telecast rights, brand endorsements, and sale of products ranging from television sets, beverages, chips, colas and sports goods to direct-to-home packages and set-top boxes.

Restaurateur AD Singh, for one, knows what a World Cup can do to an economy. Last year when he had been to Germany during the soccer World Cup, he saw how the German economy was revived as people celebrated with every victory till the home team lost to Italy in the semi-finals.

"Spending will be much less if India lose early," said Singh. He said his business would go down by 5 per cent.

Take the case of ad spots. While the average ad rate was Rs 1.5 lakh for a 10 second spot during a match, there were premium packages for the 12 India-specific matches and the Super Eight ties, for which the rates were Rs 2.75 lakh per 10 seconds, said media buyers.

"India's early exit would have an impact on not only the sales of colour televisions but even the larger economy," said Ashok Maheshwari, MD of Magnet, a retail chain.

Owner of Da Vinci pub in Bandra Ketan Kadam said the business of pubs that showed live telecast would be affected by 15 per cent. Dewang Patel of Cinemax said screening cricket matches was an alternative revenue generator and if India crashed out, it would affect exhibitors considerably.

However, colour TV manufacturers are optimistic. "We aim to sell three lakh sets during the Cup and are on course to meet the target," said Ravinder Zutshi, deputy managing director, Samsung India.

Maheshwari said cola and chip sales had not gone down because the matches ran late into the night and people did not consume a lot at that time.

There are a few others clinging on to hope as well. "Indian fans are more mature and in an eventuality of India exiting, they would continue to support the game," said marketing specialist Jagdeep Kapoor.

(Inputs by Lalatendu Mishra)