Disney Star expects upcoming ICC Men’s T20 World Cup to be of much bigger scale than the previous editions. The broadcaster said the T20 World Cup will be available to almost 750 million plus screens, combining both TV and digital mediums, as it targets higher viewership reach. It has already inked ad deals with sponsors across categories including BFSI, FMCG, gaming, auto and fintech among others.

“In the last ODI World Cup, we saw record numbers in terms of viewership reach and engagement. From a perspective of the format and the event, the upcoming T20 World Cup will be even bigger. In the minds of Indian fans, there is an unfinished agenda (with India losing the ODI World Cup final last year). It involves countries playing against countries so there are a lot of sentiments of fans attached to the tournament. In terms of the number of matches, this World Cup has 55 matches, roughly double of the previous editions, so it’s of a much larger scale,” Ajit Varghese, Head – Network Advertising Sales, Disney Star told businessline.

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The tournament is being co-hosted by US and West Indies and kickstarts from June 2 and will feature 20 teams. He added that India matches will be telecast during prime time band of 7:30 pm-11:30 pm in the country.“ So, with the action-oriented T20 format, the tournament has immense scope to outperform, any of the metrics, we have seen so far in the World Cup,” Varghese said.

Topline growth

The broadcaster believes even the morning matches offer potential for various categories such as food, FMCG, health and wellness, among others to “strategically” leverage “the before-office hours” time band, for consumer engagement. The tournament will be available to stream ‘Free on Mobile’ for those using the Disney+ Hotstar app. “Together with TV and Digital, the T20 World Cup will be available to almost 750 million plus screens. We believe advertisers looking to drive topline growth, can’t get a better marquee event to engage with consumers than this,” Varghese added.

Responding to a query on advertiser interest,  he said, the broadcaster has already signed sponsors across categories including BFSI, payment gateway, FMCG, gaming and automobile among others. “ Over the last two years, we have seen 20-25 per cent growth in ratings and viewership time spent across all formats of cricket. Even if you look at the IPL metrics this year, in 51 matches the numbers are remarkable. Given the widespread enthusiasm for Live Cricket, we anticipate strong viewership interest. If we look at year-on-year advertiser growth, we have seen a growth of almost 50 per cent. So this year, also we see the number of advertisers growing at a similar rate,” Varghese stated.