IPL 8 will be telecast in 3 new regional feeds: Neeraj Vyas

Sony Max's Neeraj Vyas talks about the launch of IPL 8 campaign 'India Ka Tyohaar' and why this edition of IPL will be good from advertisers' perspective

e4m by Collin Furtado
Updated: Mar 11, 2015 8:49 AM
IPL 8 will be telecast in 3 new regional feeds: Neeraj Vyas

Sony Max and Sony SIX  have launched the latest IPL campaign “India ka Tyohaar”.

The Indian Premiere League (IPL) season 8 is expected to be telecast in 3 new languages this season (Tamil, Telugu and Bengali) other than the Hindi and English languages. Multi Screen Media (MSM) had earlier had a Bengali feed for the FIFA World Cup 2014 on their Bengali channel Sony Aath. While Bengali feed for IPL 8 can be expected on Sony Aath, as far as the Tamil and Telugu feed, the broadcaster is still working out whether to carry the feeds on separate new channels or on various feeds of Sony SIX in the Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh regional markets said Neeraj Vyas, SVP & Business Head, Sony Max, Sony Max-2 & Sony MIX. However, he said advertising inventory on these three regional channels would be common, except for the HD feed on Sony SIX HD which would have a separate ad inventory. On not having separate ad inventory for regional channels he said, “We were looking at doing that but it is the first year that we’ve been experimenting in 3 languages and we don’t want to take so much on our plate that we can’t manage. So if this works out and we see ratings coming across then we will definitely split the feeds into different advertising feeds as well.”  

India Ka Tyohaar campaign will be launched through the teasers and the campaign anthem which premiered on March 10 across the entire network through a roadblock at 9pm. Post that 10 days later the three ads of the campaign will be featured on the channels. The IPL campaign, which is said to be the biggest that they have done, stretches across a 4-week period until the launch of the tournament. When asked about the spends for the IPL campaign this year Vyas said that it was approximately 15% more due to media inflationary growth. Excerpts from an interview with Vyas:

What was the idea behind the campaign this year?

Pepsi IPL reached out to people across age groups, gender and languages. This year’s initiative ‘India ka Tyohaar’ is a unique thought that stems from the insights of how Pepsi IPL over the years has grown to be a huge festival which people celebrate together. It is a perfect blend of cricket, entertainment and festivity packaged in one.

Is it a challenge to launch a campaign at a time when the ICC World Cup is going on?

We were in a similar situation when 2011, the only difference was that it was a much bigger World Cup where India (team) was playing in India. Also this year none of the games are on prime time.  They start at 9am and some even start at 6am in the morning. The learning very critically was the fact that an Indian cricket fan follows his team with a lot of passion and intensity. If India keeps winning and does well he is emotionally and physically spent by the tournament. Which is why to be honest we had a campaign in 2011 which kind of went flat simply because we did not anticipate with India’s journey into the finals. This time around the campaign thought is very warm and different, it is about unifying people. So my sense is that anything that touches that fact will always stay longer for an audience. So hopefully we are in a much safer zone compared to last time.

How will not having the digital rights for IPL impact Sony Max & SIX?

Digital I think has a different TG and the time spend is far lesser but I don’t see any impact. Advertisers want larger audiences and larger reach. IPL also reaches more than 200 million people over a span of 41 days which no digital reach can provide. It is nascent right now but eventually it will grow. Right now I think TV rules.

What are the brand categories on board or have showed interest in associating with IPL?

There have been many first time categories. We have six sponsors on board as we speak,  Vimal Pan Masala has come on board as a fresh category. There is  CarDekho.com and e-commerce brand Amazon is our presenting sponsor. E-commerce is going to be big for sure and is the biggest category across many things these days. I see FMCG, beverage companies coming back and virtually all the key sporting brands which support sports.

Do you expect ad revenues on IPL on TV to be more than Rs.1,000 crore this year?

That is a little ambitious but we will have a good year that is all I can say. I won’t comment on the number as it is still early days and we have a month to go. From an advertiser point of view, we will have a good IPL.

What is reason for adding new regional feeds for IPL this year?

We had a massive response from the Bengali feed (for the FIFA World Cup) so obviously it won’t be that much (for cricket) because football is huge in Kolkata, but the whole objective is to watch his favourite sport in the language that he prefers. That is the larger objective. If you like to see something and you get it in your language, it is bound to grow. Which is why you have seen a huge shift from English to Hindi, because contrary what we believe in large cities where we think that English is the language of communication, 100 km outside any large city in India the world is very different. People love their own language.

During the IPL, the new ratings system BARC is expected to be launched, what do you think will be the impact?

Very honestly, I don’t think anybody has a clue right now so we will take it as it comes. We are not the only ones in BARC the whole industry is there, so we will see how it pans out. We don’t see any issue with IPL.

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