NEW DELHI: Marketers in India are willing to experiment with TV content, but ultimately ratings remain their priority and in the first half of the year much of their attention will be focused on cricket.

The ICC Cricket World Cup is taking place in New Zealand from the middle of February to the end of March, with the eighth series of cricket's Indian Premier League following hard on its heels during April and May.

Ad spends on TV for these two "tent-pole" properties are expected to exceed Rs. 2,000 crore, Exchange4media reported.

"The core will always remain a combination of daily soaps and reality shows," said Bedraj Tripathy, avp/Integrated Marketing, Godrej Interio. "There will be small blasts of sports and live events, but they will be seen as opportunities on short-term only."

Beyond these certainties, Tripathy said he thought there would be greater investment in niche channels and also saw "good money moving towards regional channels, which are doing well".

Marketers are clearly looking at ratings when they make media-spending decisions but they are not always the focus according to Naveen Kukreja, CMO at

He pointed to the example of the Zindagi channel. "Their ratings and reach are pretty low for a GEC, but marketers bank on the quality of the content it plays," he explained.

The other side of that coin, however, is a series that looks strong on paper – good concept, star cast – but which is poorly received by audiences.

"Longitudinal trends hold greater insights for the savvy marketer," suggested Anisha Motwani, Director, CMO and Digital Officer of Max Life Insurance. 

Motwani was also keen to see what happens as regards audience measurement with the long-awaited BARC ratings, due to become available this year, offering "richer and sharper perspective on TV consumption".

The growing importance of measurement issues was further emphasised by an announcement from SureWaves MediaTech that is it to carry out a third-party audit of its SureWaves Spot TV Network, which has aggregated 450 local cable channels on its digital platform.

Data sourced from Exchange4media, Business Standard; additional content by Warc staff