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Neo Sports targeting Euro 2012 advertising boom

Indian pay-television broadcaster Neo Sports is targeting advertising revenue of Rs400 million (€5.76 million/$7.2 million) from its coverage of the Uefa Euro 2012 football championships.

Neo is broadcasting the tournament on its Neo Prime channel, which was recently rebranded to a multi-sports channel having previously been a cricket-dedicated platform. IndianTelevision.com reports that the broadcaster has already secured five sponsors: Carlsberg, Cadbury, Intel Zolo smartphone, DHL and Reliance Netconnect. Each of the sponsors is reportedly paying Rs35 million. Neo is said to be seeking two more partners.

Pan-Asian broadcaster ESPN Star Sports held the Indian rights to the last edition of the European Championships in 2008 and reportedly earned about Rs250 million in advertising revenue.

Anamika Mehta, chief operating officer of marketing and advertising company Lodestar, said the Euro offered a strong advertising platform for Neo, but said the broadcaster was unlikely to achieve its Rs400 million goal.

“Considering that Euro happens to be in a cricket-free period [for the Indian national team], Euro offers a good opportunity to advertisers to engage with the youth-sports-audience,” Mehta said. “However, post heavy investments by most advertisers during IPL [Indian Premier League] and a loaded cricket calendar post-July, and bearing in mind the steep entry cost by Neo, Euro may not gather as many takers across categories.”