The IPL spot fixing controversy notwithstanding, advertisers are still sticking with cricket as over 30 brands, including Pepsi, Hindustan Unilever, Airtel and Tata Motors, have signed up for the ICC Champions Trophy 2013 starting Thursday.
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Although some media industry analysts said advertisers' response were a "bit lukewarm", broadcaster of the tournament ESPN Star said it has almost sold out ad spots.
"We are very happy with the advertiser response for the upcoming ICC Champions Trophy 2013 and well placed in achieving our sales objectives. We have more than 30 clients from various categories who have come on board for the live match as well as pre-post programming," ESPN Software India Pvt Ltd Chief Operating Officer Vijay Rajput told PTI.
He, however, declined to comment on the ad revenues that the broadcaster was eyeing from the tournament.
According to industry sources, the broadcaster is charging about Rs 2.1 lakh to Rs 2.2 lakh for a 10-second ad spot for the live matches.
Media planners said the IPL spot fixing controversy will not have much impact on the viewership and hence on advertiser response to the ICC Champions Trophy.
"If India performs well, there won't be any impact on viewership," Platinum Media CEO Basabdutta Chowdhury said.
Expressing similar views, Zenith Optimedia Managing Partner Naveen Khemka said the only possible reason for brands not to advertise in the Champions Trophy could be that "it is so close of IPL that it might be difficult for brand to invest heavily again on advertising".
Khemka further said there could be doubt in the mind of viewers due to spot fixing controversy but it has not affected cricket viewership.
"The only reason why viewership may be impacted is due to the 50-overs format game," he added.
Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL) one of main sponsors of the ICC Champions Trophy said it does not expect any negative impact of the IPL controversy on the event.
"We remain focused on our association with ICC. The initial reports that have come suggests that cricket is cricket and nothing has changed. We expect the event to be highly successful," HMIL General Senior Manager and Group Head Marketing Nalin Kapoor said.
Big brands like Reckitt Benckiser, Carlsberg, Castrol, Hero MotoCorp, Microsoft, General Motors, Lenovo, Kent RO, Union Bank, Bridgestone, IndusInd Bank, Micromax and Tata Teleservices are among those which have booked spots with ESPN Star.
Champions Trophy will be contested by eight countries and will be played between June 6 to June 23 in England. It will be broadcast in India on Start Cricket, Star Cricket HD, and Star Sports 2.