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Help Set Max, ESPN in race to draw advertisers for IPL, World Cup
As India prepares for two mega cricket events -- IPL and the World Cup-- next year, the race between broadcasters Set Max and ESPN to rope in advertisers is hotting up.

Despite the fact that a world cup tournament happens every four years only, the T-20 league is emerging as a favourite among media planners, with Set Max that will show IPL from April 8 onwards already signing up with ten sponsors.

ESPN, the official broadcaster of the World Cup that will be held in the sub-continent from February 19 to April 2, on the other hand has finalised five sponsors so far.

Both the broadcasters claimed to have already sold out about 50 per cent of their advertising inventories.

"IPL has become really a big from viewership point of view. It is a costlier property as it is a game of demand and supply. While an IPL match has 20 overs, a World Cup match is spread across 50 overs, so obviously the demand for IPL is much higher," ZenithOptimedia, senior vice-president Naveen Khemka said.

IPL is expected to generate more revenues for Multi Screen Media (MSM) which owns Set Max, both from sponsorships and advertisements.

"The format generates more interest from advertisers as the viewership is expected to be more than the World Cup that has only six guaranteed India matches," Mindshare Managing Partner (Entertainment Sports Partnerships) Hiren Pandit said.

As per industry estimates, Set Max is charging above Rs five lakh for a ten second spot during IPL matches, while ESPN is currently at Rs 3.5 lakh for the same.

"We are very happy with the way things are going. ESPN is hoping to rope in a total of around 10 sponsors going forward," ESPN Indian Senior Director Communications and Business Development Rathindra Basu said.

ESPN expects to garner Rs 700 crore from the tournament that begins on February 19 and the final for which will be played in Mumbai on April 2, 2011.

Buoyed by the high interest levels, Set Max is also talking to a few more companies at present. "We are in talks with some more people who are willing to associate with IPL, but will add only one more sponsor to the list of existing ten," MSM President (Network Sales) Rohit Gupta said.

Gupta said MSM hopes to earn around 20 per cent more revenues from season four of the league as compared to IPL3. MSM is understood to have raked in around Rs 750 crore from last season's IPL.

Sponsors, which have signed up with ESPN for the World Cup are Sony, Nokia, Pepsi, Maruti Suzuki and Philips. IPL's list includes Vodafone, Videocon, Samsung, Godrej, LG, Hyundai, Pepsi, Tata Photon, Cadbury and Havells.
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