In a surprise move, Star Network has appointed NDTV Media, the advertising sales company of NDTV, to sell advertising space on its online venture Indya.com for the Cricket World Cup event.
Star Network expects nearly 5 billion hits on cricketworldcup.com and is, therefore, keen to monetise the page views. "The traffic on the site during the ICC Champions Trophy was high and we registered about 230 page views over a period of 30 days," says Ajay Vidyasagar, executive vice-president, Star Network.
Commenting on why advertising sales for the World Cup have been handed over to NDTV Media, Vidyasagar said: "NDTV Media handles third party sales and markets commercial air time for channels other than NDTV's. It has a relationship with MSN and has built up expertise in the online space."
NDTV Media, meanwhile, has started pitching for advertising for cricketworldcup.com. The company is talking to World Cup's existing on-ground sponsors such as LG, Hutch and Indian Oil Corporation.
"Cricket World Cup is an attractive proposition for the advertisers as it offers match highlights, video-on-demand and "Matchcast" which is a live scoreboard complete with graphs and profile of the players," says Raj Nayak, CEO, NDTV Media.
The company is also devising an online contest titled Voice of the World Cup where a viewer can record his commentary to go with some match clips and submit it online.
"We are talking to a telecom partner for the contest so that Internet users who have no mikes to record their commentary could use a phone line for the purpose," says Nayak. The winners will be sent to watch the World Cup.Cricket World Cup 2007 is expected to be followed by 50 million people online while about 2 billion people in 100 countries will watch it on TV.