Total IPL 2023 ad revenue dropped from last year, with big-spending brands from categories like edtech toning down spends or giving it a miss. Will the decline in viewership continue through to the ICC Men’s ODI World Cup beginning October 5, 2023? Or will it score over World Cup 2019 on (i) viewership and (ii) ad revenues?
Startups in BFSI, fintech, edtech, and betting sectors have faced challenges due to market conditions and regulatory restrictions. Meantime, the high cost of advertising on IPL and the extended duration of the league saw advertisers choose different mediums and platforms over the marquee cricket property. This, despite IPL performing admirably in terms of consumption and ratings, on linear TV and aided by free streaming on OTT.
‘Poised to create a remarkable impact on viewership and ad revenues’
Contrary to speculations, IPL did not experience any decline in viewership. In fact, when the tournament moved out of the paywall, it achieved its highest concurrency in 2023. Looking ahead to the ICC Men’s ODI World Cup, which is scheduled to begin on October 5, 2023, in India, we anticipate even higher viewership rates and a dedicated following. It’s worth noting that India emerged as the victor in the last World Cup played in India, and historically, the past three World Cups have been won by the home teams.
With the World Cup moving out of the paywall, we can expect a significant surge in both viewership numbers and concurrency rates. Additionally, as the tournament coincides with the festive season, there will be substantial investments in advertising and promotions. These factors combined are poised to create a remarkable impact on the viewership and ad revenues, potentially surpassing the records set in 2019.
– Harish Iyer, EVP, Media & Investment, Interactive Avenues, digital arm of IPG Mediabrands India
‘Ad spends will likely return and see an increase’
While 2023 was touted to be the year of more spending with digital growing at a faster pace than TV, the macro-economic environment has not been encouraging. This had led to slowdown in ad spending by marketers. This has also resulted in some of the larger spenders in the previous years like the tech-enabled players (in education, finance, quick commerce etc.) being completely absent from this year during IPL 2023.
As for the ICC Men’s ODI world Cup, these live games being hosted in India, are quite a draw for the Indian audiences and are likely to see an uptick in viewership and hence ad spending. In addition to TV, ICC World Cup will be aired free on Disney+Hotstar (like IPL 2023 on Jio) which will bring in more viewers and advertisers. Also, with a steady growth likely in India’s GDP, the ad spends for the ICC WC will also likely return and see an increase.
– Jyoti Malladi, Managing Director – Research, Ipsos India
‘World Cup viewership strictly linked to India’s fortunes’
The overdose of cricket is killing the viewer interest. There is just too much of the game and that too much of the same fare.
World Cup viewership is strictly linked to India’s fortunes. If India keeps winning through the qualifiers and then the semis and gets to the final, then viewership will go beyond 2019. If India loses some of the initial matches, the viewership will plummet. So, patterns for IPL and WC are different.
– Dr. Sandeep Goyal, CMD, Rediffusion
‘Coming months will play decisive role in shaping advertising outlook’
The ICC Men’s ODI World Cup and the IPL are two distinct formats of cricket that cannot be directly compared. The IPL, being a league cricket, has achieved unprecedented viewership on digital platforms, largely due to the free model of Jio Cinema. However, the upcoming World Cup is expected to draw strong viewership numbers, given the return of renowned players from various nations, gathering on a single platform. The performance of team India will play a crucial role in driving viewership, as people may choose to watch India matches or other key matchups.
On the advertising revenue front, startups are likely to face challenges as the effects of the funding winter still linger. Consequently, spending will be limited to corporates and established brands. The first quarter of the calendar year has been lacklustre, leading to early retail offers and sales. If demand fails to pick up before the festive season, brands may be hesitant to heavily invest in cricket properties and instead explore alternative avenues that offer better return on investment. However, recent meetings of the Reserve Bank of India’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) have hinted at a potential softening of their stance. Any rate cuts implemented before the festive season would improve liquidity and bring joy to both buyers and brands alike.
All in all, the coming months will play a decisive role in shaping the advertising outlook for the World Cup.
– Kiran James, Associate Vice president, Muthoottu Mini Financiers Ltd.
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