Sony Entertainment Television is expecting a huge surge in revenues from the Cricket World Cup, and is expecting a more than doubling of its turnover to Rs 1,000 crore (Rs 10 billion) for the fiscal-ended March 2003, senior executives of SET India said.
This will be a major jump for the closely-held entertainment arm of the Japanese major which had clocked revenues of around Rs 420 crore ($85 million) last year.
Senior SET India executives said the company was expecting to garner at least Rs 300 crore (Rs 3 billion) from advertising sales for world cup fixtures, and that most of the commercial time available have already been sold out.
In addition, the steep increases in subscription charges will also substantially boost the topline, they added.
The inventory of commercial time per match is around 5,000 seconds and, according to media buying agencies, the average rate for a 10 second slot works out to around Rs 1.2 lakh (Rs 120,000).
This is because Sony has bundled the commercial time across several matches and offered it to advertisers as a package.
This strategy has enabled the company to effectively market commercial time for matches which generally have lower viewership, especially matches between lesser known cricketing nations and consequently would be able to command lower advertising rates.
With 54 matches to be played and telecast throughout the tournament, Sony would garner at least Rs 300 crore (Rs 3 billion) on this count alone and which would not include premium rates from official sponsors on the channel.
The company also expects a substantially higher income as part of its subscription revenue with the recently increased rates of around Rs 55 for the Sony One Alliance bouquet.
Though the company estimates a viewership base of around 33 million households all over India, it gets paid for a substantially lower subscriber base of around 5 million homes.
SET India, which initially derived most of its revenues from advertising, is also trying to gradually tilt the balance towards its pay channel revenues and expects an 80:20 mix between advertising and subscription revenues in the current year.