IPL 2018: Star targets at increasing 20% viewership but advertisers must pay more

The organisation is aiming at an increased viewership of at least 15-20% in the upcoming season. However, the pricing is expected to go up by 35-40%

e4m by Naziya Alvi Rahman
Updated: Jan 12, 2018 9:00 AM

Star India’s ambitious bid to get global media rights for the Indian Premier League (IPL) for five years made much news in 2017. As we enter 2018 and an inch closer to the IPL season scheduled to begin in April, all eyes are set on how Brand IPL will evolve, with the change of hands. The property was with Sony Pictures Network for the last 10 years.

Industry sources claim that Star has devised an elaborate plan to make maximum gains out of the hot IPL property. Perhaps, the broadcaster has little option but to exhaust as much as it can to recover the huge bid amount of ₹16,347.50 crore.

As a first step to increase its revenue, the organisation is aiming at an increased viewership of at least 15-20% in the upcoming season. But with increased viewership, advertisers must gear up for a significantly higher price for ad slots. Industry sources claim, Star has already sent its first rate card to several leading media agencies.

Experts claim, while it is difficult to make a direct comparison with last year’s ad rates as Star with all the rights (television, digital and rest of the world) is offering a comprehensive package. However, if you break down and compare ‘apples with apples’ there is a hike of 35-40 % in the rates as compared to last year. Estimates suggest that to be a co-presenter a brand may have to shell something between Rs 100-150 crores whereas associate sponsorship comes at around Rs 69 crores. These prices are expected to include all the three rights.

To increase the viewership, the group is believed to be working on restructuring of the timings and schedule of the matches, creating new shows and airing the matches in five to six different languages including English, Hindi, Telugu, Tamil and Kannada.

“It has been learnt that they are planning to advance the timing of the evening match which earlier used to start at 8 pm by half an hour. This will help the reach increase in smaller towns where viewers are believed to go to bed a bit early,” said a senior industry person.

The marketing team is also trying to work out some mechanism where in it can play crucial matches like Mumbai Vs Delhi, or Mumbai Vs KKR etc on weekends.

Besides the plan is also to introduce new shows around the IPL to create hype. A new show on 'Team rivalry' may be introduced to create excitement ahead of the matches. Also, for serious cricket viewers, a show discussing cricket techniques may be introduced on Star Select HD channel.

On the digital front, the organisation is also believed to be making every attempt to ensure that the streaming on Hotstar is as close as the live telecast. Until last year the telecast ran delayed by almost five minutes.

Despite, several mails and calls, Star India did not confirm or deny details mentioned in the story.

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