Season 8 of the Indian Premier League has done well in terms of viewership and saw a 20% growth according to TAM data. The league has also delivered well in terms of advertising revenues for TV broadcast rights holder Multi Screen Media (MSM) as ad revenues are said to have seen a 20% plus growth from IPL season 6.
N.P. Singh, CEO, MSM said, “The last season was very unique because it was played right in the middle of the election period and therefore making comparisons between seasons 7 and 8 would not be right. However, we have seen a 20% plus growth from season 6 to season 8, which is very strong.”
While Singh did not divulge any details of the exact ad revenues on IPL, if reports are to be believed, ad revenues earned by MSM during IPL 6 were estimated at Rs.950 crore. A 20% growth on these ad revenues would take the estimated figure to over Rs.1,100 crore.
Speaking about the different feeds for IPL 8 Singh said, “As far the viewership is concerned the highest viewership came from the Hindi feeds on Sony Max and then from English and the three regional language feeds. We will continue this strategy going forward. In terms of sales, selling inventory separately for regional feeds is something we will look at. We are trying to see if we can sell some languages separate from Hindi. And within IPL High Definition (HD feed) has done extremely well this year, which clearly shows that from a viewership perspective we have seen a major growth and also revenues have grown quite dramatically on HD. So there is a lot of demand for HD content which we are seeing now in the market from the advertisers.” He further added, “As far as the number of brands are concerned it is pretty similar (to IPL 7) and it also gets defined by the inventory that you have on IPL, which is very finite. Therefore that defines the number of brands that you can carry but the yield has been higher which is why the revenues have grown at the rate I mentioned earlier.”
On the content that they look to carry on the second sports channel under the network, Sony Kix, he said, “In the last three years we have aggregated a lot of sports content which we are currently showcasing on Sony Six and in some cases also on Sony Pix. With Sony Kix now coming in it gives us the flexibility of multiple language feeds and that is something we did with IPL and also gives us another platform which we can actually showcase content which erstwhile was sitting on other channels of the network. Plus we are acquiring a lot of new rights to sports properties which we will announce in the next couple of months.”
When asked about the sports properties that the network is looking to acquire he said there is more of a focus towards football. “Football is becoming very popular with the youth today and that is something that we are focusing on. We have the best of football we had FIFA last year, the next FIFA in 2018, next year Euro 2016 is coming up, plus all the qualifiers leading up to the Euro and FIFA 2018 are all on the network. Plus there are other properties that we are in the middle of firming up at this stage,” Singh said,
On plans of acquiring stake or starting their own sports league he said that at this stage they are not considering starting their own league but they are not averse to the idea.