New Delhi:Cricket is religion in India but it's definitely not a recession-proof game these days. The boys in blue may have thrashed the Aussies but advertisers still refuse to shell out top dollars for the India-England series that starts from Friday.
There are few takers for the next home series against England. Neo Sports, the official broadcaster, is finding it tough to sell ad inventory. Only four new advertisers - Microsoft, Pepsi, P&G and ESPN have pitched in to provide the channel with a sigh of relief.
"Economic scenario has caused a dent", rued Abhishek Verma, Associate VP-Marketing, Neo Sports.
According to sources, the initial combined rate for NEO and Doordarshan was four lakh for a 10 second spot. But a huge dip is seen in the price factor as space is now getting sold at 2.5 lakh per 10 seconds.
The three principle sponsors are each paying 12 crores while the associates are shelling out half of the same. Traditionally such series would sell for Rs 15 crores. But things seem to be different this time.
NEO is finding it difficult too woo advertisers from the entertainment channels despite the ongoing industry strike
"With AAAI and ISA's decision to support broadcasters there will be no shift as such to Neo", said Harsha Joshi, COO-media buying and content, Madison Media.
It seems the gentleman's game would get massively affected by IPL's great popularity and demand in the coming days too.