Cricket in India has been an integral part of the most of its population’s lifestyle. It has been the way for decades, thanks in part to India’s national broadcaster – Doordarshan. And while the game’s broadcast has moved on to other channels since, every time Team India is in action, DD Sports still plays a crucial role.
Though Doordarshan accounts to only 14% of the cricket audience of the country, 4 out of the 5 views in that comes from rural parts. It helps the game (and consequently brands and advertisers) reach a mass population in the areas where the other major broadcasters have not made proper inroads yet.
Take the case of India’s tour to Sri Lanka whose six games (3ODIs and 3T20Is) will all be on DD Sports along with channels of the Sony Sports Network. Nearly a dozen brands have signed up with DD Sports as broadcast partners and sponsors for the series.
These include Co-Presenting Sponsors Myfab11, Mountain Dew, Ultratech Cement, Indira IVF, Ghadi Detergent, Fogg Deo and Associate Sponsors Nilons, Omni Gel, Cycle Incense sticks, Pepsi, and Glori Soap.
Says Nikhil Vyas, CEO of ITW MWORX, which is the ad sales partner for DD Sports: “Advertisers realised that India cricket on DD Sports is a very effective and efficient medium to reach out to an audience size of 40M households in tier 2,3 and smaller towns. The reach of the platform is unmatched which makes it a regular media vehicle for the agencies and clients in the media plans.”
Bhairav Shanth, Co-founder and MD of ITW Consultancy Pvt Ltd, also echoed the same sentiments as to why DD Sports remains a viable and even vital component of a broader cricket media plan for brands associated with the sport. “Our research shows that 1 in 7 viewers in India watch cricket on the national broadcaster and 4 out of 5 of those viewers are from the rural areas. It’s the perfect complement to the more urban audiences that cable and OTT platforms reach.” he said.
ITW is also the official in stadia advertising rights holder as well as markets the Hybrid on air features advertising on Sony Sports network.
Though more of the population will have access to paid broadcasters or major OTT platforms in the coming years, Doordarshan’s feed will still continue to entertain a huge chunk of the rural areas of the country. And the level of brand interest in the India-Sri Lanka series is ample proof of its viability and importance.