The GCC is set for a 120 percent boost in television advertising during the World Cup, according to one of the region’s biggest media chiefs.
Elie Khouri, boss of Omnicom Media Group MENA, said that an extra $60m will be spent during the four-week tournament, which kicks off in South Africa on Friday.
“All that extra spending is coming over one month. Last year the total figure was $600m, with around $50m spent each month on television advertising. All the signs are that the World Cup is going to give a strong, and much needed boost to the market,” said Khouri.
The biggest spender is expected to be Hyundai Kai Motors, one of the six official World Cup partners that also include Adidas, Emirates Airline, Sony, Coca Cola and Visa International. FIFA also has eight official sponsors and five “national supporters” in South Africa.
“This extra boost will not only be invested on Al Jazeera but also a host of other channels such as MBC which will broadcast highlights and other special programmes. it is also worth noting that Al Jazeera may wish to air certain matches on free to air which would give the advertisers a much wider exposure,” added Khouri.
Khouri’s OMG is believed to have generated $1.5bn worth of billings across the GCC and Levant, with new accounts including LVMH, Hershey’s, Bank Al Belad, HP and McDonald’s coming on board, making Khouri one of the region’s leading media figures.
“We are still facing tough times ahead, so nobody should get carried away on the back of what happens in the next four weeks. But with this event we should get to 10 percent growth in television advertising during 2010,” said Khouri.
Qatar based Al Jazeera Sport last November took over all the content and broadcast rights owned by Arab Radio and Television (ART), in a deal worth close to $1bn – giving it exclusive Middle East rights to the 2010 and 2014 World Cups.
In the UAE, both telecom providers, Etisalat and du, are transmitting the tournament on a subscription basis.For all the latest UAE news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.