As IPL 6 nears an end, market experts predict that MSM, the official broadcaster of the tournament, is expected to rake in ad revenues in excess of Rs 800 crore. Extremely tight matches have sustained eyeballs even during the middle of the tournament, and therefore the IPL property buying is inviting more and more advertisers. This season of IPL has raked in 70-odd advertisers and 12 sponsors.
As per market speculations, the channel is charging a whopping Rs 15 lakh for a ten-second spot in the final stages of the tournament for sponsors who want to pay only for the last match. “That is right. A 10-second spot is being sold at Rs 12 lakh to Rs 15 lakh. The premium amount is attributed to the fact that the matches are getting very intense and close. Therefore, TRPs are expected to be up. Both, the channel and advertisers want to capitalise the situation,” said Satyajit Sen, CEO, Zenith Optimedia.
Market critics say that IPL ratings are witnessing a decline and the property has been overhyped; hence, it does not make much sense for advertisers to a pay such a huge amount for the last matches. Critics also feel that apart from this, spending such mammoth amount of money only on branding activities is not very healthy. Also, recent spot fixing controversies have further dented the image of the cricket extravaganza.
But media agencies and advertisers feel differently, “The rates are high, but we had assumed this from the beginning. We are ensured about RoI from this. The eyeballs are high and consumers are more glued to the matches,” said an advertiser, on condition of anonymity.
“Ad rates are complete demand-supply derivatives. From the eyeball point of view, I firmly believe that RCB will be a game-changer. If the team gets into final four, then it becomes even; but if there is a probability that RCB is knocked out or if second rung teams such as Rajasthan Royals are in the final four, matches will get more intense and interesting at the same time. In my opinion, this has been the closest and tightest tournament so far from the top five team’s perspective. If MSM is increasing ad rates, it is justified at this stage because the final and semi-final matches will get more interesting. Ratings are just a function of interest value, IPL in totality is a good package for advertisers as well as broadcasters, said Anindya Ray, VP, Lodestar UM.
TRPs have dropped by 10 per cent compared with the previous season but this is attributed to uneven digitisation data and turbulent DAS Phase II.
In an earlier conversation, Shireesh Joshi, COO, Strategic Marketing Group, Godrej Consumer Products, which is a big IPL advertiser this season, had said “IPL has got a very good positioning pattern. Our products get noticed fast and the reach is wider. Since the broadcast is on multiple screens, it has to be accepted more widely and in the larger sphere. We get what we need from IPL by advertising on it. Therefore, we don’t mind spending.”
Karthik Sharma, Managing Partner, Maxus said “The price differential would remain, because for specific matches, the demand is high and therefore the ad rates soar. The TRPs might have gone down but one should notice that the reach of IPL is going up. Advertisers cash on this situation. Plus during the same period, new product launches are happening and advertisers want their message to be communicated through this platform.”
Also, an interesting fact to know here is that the entire gamut of audience who watch IPL is not measured accurately, but marketers are sure about their presence. The positioning of the content which has been on multiple platforms has ensured that the content is served right and garners lot more ratings than the ordinary GECs.
Of-late spot fixing controversies have rigged IPL. Amin Shekhar, Media Analyst said, “IPL was never a cricket tournament. It is pure entertainment to benefit everyone else except cricket. Brands would continue to advertise till audience is hooked on to the tournament.”