2012 is close to an end and Multi Screen Media (MSM) is gearing up for its biggest offer for 2013 – Indian Premier League (IPL) season 6. IPL will be aired on Sony Six. The network has begun work on this mega sporting event, for which they are eyeing a lofty figure of Rs 1000 crore next year. According to industry estimates, IPL raked in approximately Rs 700 crore – 800 crore in 2012.
Taking a lesson from the previous season, which is to ensure inventories go full, MSM has decided to bring down the ad rates of the property by 10 per cent. In 2012, ad rates per 10 seconds were pegged at Rs 5.5 lakh for spot buys and Rs 5 lakh for sponsors. For IPL 6, the ad rates are at Rs 4.5 lakh per 10 seconds for the sponsors and 5 lakh per 10 seconds for spot buys.
This price reduction comes with a strategy in place. “We have undertaken some price corrections as the tournament has now matured. Ratings, in a manner of speaking, have stabilised. Last year, we had about 85 per cent sell out. A full inventory brings benefits of volume and we are extending these back to the advertisers by lowering ad rates,” explained Rohit Gupta, President, MSM.
The selling for inventories begins every October and this year the inventories have been opened up too. MSM is hoping to get 10 sponsors early this time around. For the new ad rates, a quick calculation shows that an associate sponsor who takes around 120 spots per game, spread across 76 games would fetch the channel around Rs 40 crore. With 10 sponsors, the channel hopes to lock in Rs 400 crore just in the first stage of its selling. Closer to the series, various other kinds of associations, partnerships and spot buys will come in play.
As is known, Pepsi is already replaced DLF as the title sponsor.
Gupta said, “Most of the brands have been associated with us for the last five years and we try to give value to our sponsors. We make our money on spot buys by increasing the prices. We have come out with a pricing which we think will be adequate for us to close our deals. We are hoping to close 10 sponsors soon. That will take away 50 per cent – 60 per cent of our inventory. For the remaining, where we start selling the inventories in the form of spot buys and other associations, we would start adding premium.”
A decline in the ratings every season seems to be a problem with the property, except it is not something that bothers Gupta. He remarked, “The ratings system in our country is so old that it needs to severely undergo a transformation. Nobody in the world looks at ratings in isolation. It’s always about reach. IPL is not bought on the basis of ratings alone, and if you see reach, it is still growing. Last year we had touched 160 million people. IPL is the biggest event on television and even World Cup T20 doesn’t come close to it.”
So if MSM claims that the reach is only growing with every season, then why is IPL subjected to so many controversies? “The problem with IPL is that it’s fallen into its own success. You can’t just better something which is doing so well. It has already scaled a high and brands have been associated with it. We are in the sixth season and it has had its share of ups and downs but at the end of the day people are still coming to watch it. It’s the format that will continue to grow in terms of viewership, which is great,” concluded Gupta.
Rewind: IPL season 5
Sponsors: Pepsi, Vodafone, Idea, Tata Docomo, Havells, Cadbury, Kingfisher
Ad rates per 10 seconds: 5.5 lakh (Spot buys)
Ad rates per 10 seconds: 5 lakh (Sponsors)