ICC WTC Final: Star Sports staring at big losses due to washout

The first day of the World Test Championship (WTC) final between India and New Zealand turned out to be a disappointment for cricket fans on Friday. Rain at Southampton made sure that play was abandoned without a ball being bowled. Along with disappointment for fans, rains will have a damaging impact on sponsors and Star Sports.

Since it is the first big ICC final in test cricket, there has been significant hype around the one isolated game between the two best test sides in the world. By leveraging the significance of this event, sources have told Sportsmint that Star Sports managed to sell the entire inventory worth Rs 100 crore for the game. Star Sports had managed to sell the entire inventory to sponsors at a much higher rate than the usual test series due to the significance of the test match.

The brands have bought shares in the inventory with the hope of getting maximum visibility during the test match. With the first day getting washed out completely, Star Sports was not able to show advertising campaigns during the slots. Sportsmint understands that the Indian broadcast company could end up losing close to Rs 20 crores for each day getting washed out.

Brands could look at alternative solutions for planned campaigns

If more days are getting washed out in this test match, brands may have to look for alternative solutions for promotional campaigns planned for this game. Brands could potentially reinvest funds or move planned campaigns to another series. The immediate series after the test match is the white ball series between India and Sri Lanka.

In such a scenario, Star Sports could potentially lose out brands to Sony Network since India’s tour of Sri Lanka will not be covered by Star. Along with losing revenue from brands in such a manner, Star Sports is also likely to see a dip in viewership for the much-awaited WTC final due to rain interruptions. Since this test match has one reserve day, Star Sports needs minimum rain interruptions in the next five days to meet the broadcast and advertisement revenue targets from this game.

On-field brands lose out visibility due to rain-affected game

Along with Star, on-field brands are also going to witness losses in terms of lack of visibility on television due to no play. International Cricket Council (ICC) has been active in the market to get numerous brands on board for the WTC final. These brands get visibility during the game on the boundary line or outfield.

Brands that have specifically signed up for WTC final end up getting very little visibility due to lack of play. Meanwhile, long-term partners of ICC such as Upstox, Byju’s, BharatPe that signed deals for major events also get very less visibility output from rain-affected games.

Considering the significance of the game on and off the pitch, all parties will be hoping that rain will stay away from Southampton for the next five days. There is a better weather forecast for Saturday, so it is likely that the WTC final will at least get a start.

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