IPL is India’s biggest sporting event that is rightly called, ‘India ka tyohaar’. The IPL this year was in a state of suspense and finally the first ball will be bowled on 19th Sept 2020 at Abu Dhabi UAE.
The broadcaster has roped in 13 sponsors incidentally it is also the 13th edition of the IPL. All the relevant FMCG advertisers are participating in this edition of Dream11 IPL. This year we will also see categories like online shopping, Edutech, BFSI, Fantasy sports and Auto come in as sponsors. The current season is seeing an increase in ad spends and advertisers as Dream11 IPL cuts across gender and ages, which is a positive sign in this gloom and doom of the pandemic.
MediaNews4U spoke to R. Venkatasubramanian, National Head – Buying, Havas Media and Gautam Surath, Senior Vice President, Media Planning – Starcom on their view and how IPL will open up the ad spends for the coming festive season.
On the Star Sports inventory for this season of IPL both Venkat and Gautam said, as per Star Sports the inventory has been sold out.
IPL comes just before the festive season sets in. Ardent sports fans have been waiting anxiously for live sports to resume since the onset of the pandemic. Brands have also been restrained in their spends and most feel that this would be the right opportunity.
Venkat said,” The current feeling is that there is no crisis in the market. Star Sports got a very good response from the market for IPL 2020. As of date some of the categories missing from sponsorship slot are automobile, mobile, consumer durables.”
Gautam said, “More brands on IPL this time as brands have chosen to move budgets from regular inventory to IPL, and Star has given lower value packages but not necessarily lower rates though”.
IPL has unparalleled reach and the impact of the tournament across consumer segments may be the much-required trigger point for some of the brands during this pandemic, TV viewership has risen many folds as people are home bound and IPL comes at the right time. Due to this surge will Star sports also hike ad rates, for which Venkat said, “They have not increased rates as such. They may increase the rate soon. This is not because of viewership but due to demand and supply”.
But as per Gautam, “yes, there was a surge, but not any more. Viewing is almost back to normal. Rates are higher on the basis of it being festive and likely the biggest show on TV in the last 6 months. Also many advertisers want to come back on air with a mass reach platform.”
During the pandemic and lockdown OTT platforms have seen a huge spike in viewership, Disney+Hotstar is also seeing a surge in brands wanting to come on the platform for IPL. As per sources the digital platform has roped in enough sponsors and as far as revenue is predicted it is about 250 cr, compared to last year’s revenue which was between 50-100 Cr. But as per Venkat, “though we are not seeing any rate increase, but actually the platform is offering customised packages for every advertiser as per their requirement.”
Gautam, “Yes the platform is seeing significant interest from advertisers. Rates are higher and we have to wait and watch if viewing responds. There are rumours that IPL on Hotstar will be behind a paywall and may not deliver audiences as promised. Due to lack of content while digital consumption increased a little, OTT viewing declined during lock down and IPL will be very important in bringing it back.”
On the question of balance inventory, which will be sold as spots as the tournament progresses, Venkat says, “Yes, this is the only way they can increase their revenue and they may keep 5-10% of inventory to sell in the last minute at premium.”
As per Gautam, “Right now there seems to be a paucity of inventory on TV. Star maybe holding some back to sell at premium rates later in the tournament.”
All in all looks like a great season for IPL and the broadcaster Star Sports. Also as brands are looking for avenues to come back to normal, and paving way for more spends in the festive season.