BCCI has cut down the broadcast and digital right payouts to the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises and their owners this year by 20-60 per cent. This will add more vows to the franchises that are expected to lose revenues due to the shift in venue this year.
However, as far as the broadcasting rights are concerned, there seems to be an indirect competition between Set Max, the official television broadcaster of the tournament, and the digital broadcaster, Starsports.com.
Starsports.com had licensed the digital distribution rights for IPL 2014 from Times Internet, the digital arm of the Times Group. This year therefore there would be no YouTube telecast of the IPL. Starsports.com will be streaming video on demand on its portal, Star Sports app, and on mobile operator services powered by Star Sports. Last year, IPL online witnessed a 56% growth in unique visitors, with over 200 million video views.
STAR India is in serious conversation with many brands. The broadcaster has offered four slots for associate sponsorship and two slots for co-sponsorship. The co-sponsorship is being pitched at Rs 9 crore while the associate sponsorship is being pitched at Rs 5 crore. The scale of spends is however very small as compared to the spends brands splurge on the television version.
According to the brands we spoke to the broadcaster has promised to reach out to 25 million unique viewers this year.
Insurance sector player like Max Life Insurance are learnt to be in conversation with Start Sports at the moment. “We are exploring the option of associating with live streaming of IPL onstarsports.com. However, nothing has been finalized and closed as of now,” said Anisha Motwani, CMO, Max Life Insurance.
A large FMCG brand is also learnt to be in conversation. The brand though refused to be mentioned officially.
The CMO of the brand mentioned “More than desktop viewing mobile viewing is more prominent on IPL platform. Brands in these cases are targeting youth and in some cases office goers who do not have consistent access to TV. Experimentation is eminent this time. Starsports has garnered premium rights for the tournament but the costs they are pitching are substantially high”.
Times and Star are jointly marketing IPL while Star India is solely responsible for monetization, including advertising sales.
A senior media planner mentioned “The quantum of people a brand wishes to reach would be the deciding factor on associating with the digital platform. Set Max without doubt will have far more reach than Star sports.com because of TV as a medium. But brands can consider experimenting in reaching out to a specific TG. In my view robust bandwidth and connectivity will also be an important parameter for availability of matches”.
Senior Star Sports officials we reached out to did not respond at the time of filling the story.