Internationally, sports channels are subscription-dependent unlike India where they rely on advertising because the law does not allow them to charge a premium over other channels.

While they will have to cut down the ad inventory, media agency experts believe that there are a few marquee properties, which an advertiser can't afford not to put money on: for instance, an IPL, or an India versus Pakistan cricket series.

Broadcasters with cricket properties will be less vulnerable than others. Broadcasters agree that while the cost of acquiring these properties is humungous, advertisers can't do without them either which will force them to agree to an increase in rates.

While live sporting events are time-break-based, on an average the channels have been airing ads for around 14-16 minutes per hour and hence the inventory cut could be compensated by a hike in ad rates.

Broadcasters are also expecting some flexibility from the regulators for the live matches where they tend to give injury breaks and so on.