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World T20: ESPN Star raises ad rates by 80 %
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ICC World T20, to be contested by 12 countries including last year's champions India and runners-up Pakistan, will be played in England from June 5 to June 21, 2009.

The event, to be telecast by Star Cricket, the cricket centric channel from the ESPN Star Sports bouquet, is tipped to generate a lot of viewer interest and advertisers too.

The forthcoming World T0 will be viewed by as many as 216 countries across the world. The sports broadcaster has lined-up many interesting on-air initiatives to make the telecast entertaining and engaging. Star Cricket will telecast live all the 27 matches.

The sports broadcaster has ensured that the commentary panel has representation from almost all cricket playing countries so that the viewers can get a flavor of each team as showcase their talent on the big stage.

Despite the cricket deluge, advertisers are not complaining about potential viewership fatigue. They are snapping up commercial advertising spots that are being sold at a high premium by ESPN Star Sports.

The broadcaster has raised its advertising rates for ICC World T20 by 80 per cent this year to Rs 4 lakh per 10 seconds from Rs 2.25 lakh last year.

R. C. Venkateish, managing director, ESPN Software India, the company that owns the rights to broadcast the event in India, says, "In terms of on-air sales, we have written 80 per cent more revenue as compared to the last edition."

Venkateish said the company has an impressive line-up of advertisers for the ICC World event. "We have signed 10 sponsors and an additional 20 corporates advertisers for spot buys on live as well as pre-post programming. We expect to gross at least Rs 220 crore in advertising from the event." said Venkateish.

Media buyers estimate the average spot rate at Rs 3.5 lakh. Reliance Communications, Pepsi and Hero Honda have signed up as co-presenting sponsors, and Perfetti, HP, Adani, Visa, are among the associate sponsors.

The India vs Pakistan T20 final on September 24, 2007 created history with the TVRs touching a peak of 15.2. ESPN and Star Cricket had a combined rating of 21.2 and a channel share of 47.2 per cent, taking large numbers of viewers away from normally popular reality TV shows being shown at the same time.
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