New Delhi: As top tennis players in the world get ready to vie for the prestigious Wimbledon title, sports broadcaster ESPN Star is quietly smiling that its coffers have been filled with all the ad spots sold out.
     
Brands like Rolex, Thai Airways, Nokia and IBM are among the nine sponsors on board. Six others, including Red Bull, Pernod Ricard and Renault India, have also booked spots.
    
"In the past 7-8 years, Wimbledon ad spots have always been sold out and this year the story is the same," ESPN Software India Pvt Ltd Executive Vice-President Sanjay Kailash told.
    
When asked about the ad revenue, he declined to comment but said the rates have gone up between 5-10 per cent as against last year. According to media planners, the broadcaster is charging about Rs 20,000-Rs 25,000 for a 10 second spot.
    
Kailash said the championship, which will be held from June 24 to July 7 this year, will be telecast on three channels, Star Sports 2, ESPN and ESPN HD in India. "There will be 150 hours of live matches, which is more than 25 per cent from last year. The number of different live matches will also increase," he said, adding, viewership would also increase considerably.
    
While he did not share a specific number, according to industry estimates, Wimbledon viewership in India last year was about 20-25 million. In order to promote the event, the broadcaster has already rolled out campaigns on its different channels, and also during the ongoing ICC Champions Trophy, said Kailash. "We are also leveraging on other channels of the Star network in India," he added.

(Agencies)

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