‘IPL, over the years, has demonstrated its excellence as a marketing platform’

Sam Balsara, Chairman and Managing Director, Madison World, explains why IPL is a fine platform for advertisers to improve reach and growth

e4m by Christina Moniz
Published: Feb 22, 2021 11:34 AM  | 6 min read
sam balsara

Advertising and media veteran, Sam Balsara explains why advertisers should explore the IPL to build reach and drive growth. The Chairman and Managing Director of Madison World also adds that the very fact that the number of tournament advertisers has nearly doubled in 2020 from under 70 back in 2015 is a testament to the marketing power of the IPL

As a media agency head and a veteran in the world of media working with brands across categories, how do you view the IPL as a media and advertising platform?

The IPL has demonstrated over the years that it is an excellent platform for marketers. The first thing, which is also the most evident, is the fact that the IPL is a cricket tournament. And no other sport comes as close to cricket, which is passionately followed across the country. In addition, the game lends itself to advertisers very well also because of the format.

There are commercial breaks between each over, and that provides the necessary space for brands to make their presence felt during the tournament. So, you get the benefit of the ads playing out in a bunch of three or four at the most, rather than in a bunch of 20. Also, let’s not forget that the IPL lasts around 40-odd days. Thus, marketers can choose spots in every match or every alternate match, and therefore build a certain amount of reach. That way, the brand can also build on its message playing out with a good frequency to the same viewer. While marketers focus on reach, and the reach of IPL is very good, it's equally important to focus on the repetition of the message at the same time and same place. IPL enables all of this, making it an important reason for brands to come to the platform year after year.

Brands have this myth about the IPL being cluttered in advertising space, yet there is data to prove otherwise and brands have continued to invest in the property to amplify their reach and drive business growth. What are some of the things you would say to advertisers to capitalise on this platform and achieve growth?

So, I would say that for the reasons I just mentioned that the clutter on IPL is in fact less. The format is also such that brands can effectively use the platform irrespective of how many other advertisers are there.

From an industry standpoint, what is the kind of value IPL brings to the AdEx? How did it achieve this in the past year?

In our estimate, the IPL last year had reached Rs 2700 crore and added as much as Rs 300 crore last year, which is remarkable considering that it was a COVID year. And consistently since 2015, in our estimate, the IPL has been adding about Rs 200 to 300 crore every year. In five years, IPL has moved up from Rs 1200 crore in 2015 to Rs 2700 crore in 2020. As much as 5% of the total AdEx and 12% of the TV AdEx today comes from the IPL. Also, the number of advertisers on IPL has been steadily going up, establishing the attractiveness of the tournament to more and more advertisers. In 2015, we believe from under 70 advertisers, today it attracts almost double that number.

The IPL is often seen as a platform that requires huge investment. How would you advise smaller or mid-sized companies with limited budgets to leverage the IPL better?

More and more advertisers should look at IPL, especially those who are looking to making a change in their penetration and their adoption. Also, I would say it's not really necessary to have your eight or ten spots on every match. You could consider taking as little as four or five spots a match and maybe take ten total days of the tournament, and perhaps bunch the spots together. That way your outlay will be restricted and you will be able to test out whether IPL is able to do any magic for your brand.

Can you share with us any interesting case studies from brands that have built themselves up using the IPL as a platform?

Well, I think all those advertisers who have consistently been using the IPL from its very first edition, and there are many like that. These brands themselves demonstrate just how well the IPL can work for your brand. Also, you just need to see the consistency with which brands are appearing year-after-year on IPL and newer advertisers that keep adding on with each year. To my mind, that itself is a case study. But I would also caution advertisers that it would be a mistake to advertise only on the IPL and then remain quiet for the rest of the year. The most important thing for a brand is to be present throughout the year.

There’s tons of data to prove the power of TV advertising and its reach which has been seen over the years. What would you say to advertisers about the power of TV?

Even in the face of growing acceptance and popularity of digital, television advertising continues to dominate the Indian AdEx. In fact, at a time when Digital has moved up rapidly and crossed 30% of the market, Television has for the first time crossed the 40 share barrier and achieved a high share of 42% of AdEx in 2020. So there is no denying the fact that Television is the best brand-building medium that we have. However, as I had said in my speech last year at the ‘TV First’ seminar, there is evidence to show that when you add Digital to a TV campaign, it will help make your TV campaign work more efficiently. And if you add Television to a digital campaign, then it will make your digital campaign more effective. So we have seen that both TV and Digital in today's India can work very well, synergistically.

Having said that, I think one must not forget that other media also have their own role. For example, if you're launching a new brand or you have some announcements to make, then Print is indispensable. Similarly Radio and Outdoor are very powerful reminder media. And Cinema also is an excellent audiovisual media where you have the benefit of large images and a larger than life imagery that can be created. So each medium has its own strength. But there is no denying the fact that right now Television and Digital are the two leading monarchs of the Indian AdEx industry.

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Women's IPL: Viacom18 bags media rights worth Rs 951 crore for 5 years

Each match has been valued at Rs 7.09 crore

By exchange4media Staff | Jan 16, 2023 12:52 PM   |   5 min read

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Viacom18 has been awarded the Women's IPL media rights for Rs 951 crore for the next five years announced Jay Shah, the Secretary of Board of Control for Cricket in India, in a tweet today. Each match has been valued at Rs 7.09 crore. 

The rights comprise three categories - linear (TV), digital and combined (TV and digital) - and were sold globally, including India.

The announcement was made by Jay Shah, Secretary, the Board of Control for Cricket in India.

Congratulations @viacom18 for winning the Women’s @IPL media rights. Thank you for your faith in @BCCI and @BCCIWomen. Viacom has committed INR 951 crores which means per match value of INR 7.09 crores for next 5 years (2023-27). This is massive for Women’s Cricket

Shah further said, "After pay equity, today's bidding for media rights for Women's IPL marks another historic mandate. It's a big and decisive step for empowerment of women's cricket in India, which will ensure participation of women from all ages. A new dawn indeed!"

The rights comprise three categories - linear (TV), digital and combined (TV and digital) - and were sold globally, including India.

Shah said the bidding amount would have a per-match-value of Rs 7.09 crore (USD 866,000 approx.) over five years.

The men's IPL, in comparison, fetched a five-year deal of Rs 48,390.5 crore (USD 6.2 billion approx. at the time) in June last year with a per-match-value of INR 58 crore (USD 7.43 million approx.).

Women's media rights did not have a base price unlike the men's. Over 22 matches will be played in the tournament that is set to be launched in March this year.

Broadcast heavyweights snapped up five-year media rights for the men’s IPL for a steep ₹48,390. Disney Star acquired the rights to broadcast men’s IPL in the Indian subcontinent for Rs 23,575 Cr ($3.02 Bn) for 2023-27 and Viacom18 grabbed the digital rights for the league with a bid of INR 20,500 Cr ($2.57 Bn).

The men's rights were split across multiple categories and regions.

BCCI President Roger Binny said: “I would like to congratulate Viacom18 for bagging the media rights for Women’s IPL for the period of 5 years. Women’s cricket has been on the up since a few years and the recently concluded bilateral series against Australia is a great testament to how popular women’s cricket has become in India. It was only apt to get our own women’s T20 league and give the fans more of women’s cricket. I would also like to congratulate the BCCI leadership and its workforce for a successful media rights process and wish them the very best for the first edition of the Women’s IPL.”

BCCI Honorary Secretary Jay Shah said, “I am really thrilled that we have had such an encouraging response for a league that will revolutionise women’s cricket not just in India but across the globe. This is a commitment I had made to the Board and our women cricketers and today we have taken one big leap. The broadcasters play a key role in taking the game to a wider audience and their active interest in the league is a clear indication that the Women’s Indian Premier League is headed in the right direction. The per-match valuation of Rs 7.09 crore is something that has never previously been registered for a women’s game. I congratulate Viacom18 for securing both the TV and digital rights with a combined bid of Rs 951 crore and welcome them on Board. The journey has well and truly started and we will take another major step this month when the five franchises are announced.

Chairman, IPL Governing Council, Arun Singh Dhumal said: “It gives me immense pleasure to welcome Viacom18 as our official digital and television broadcaster for women’s IPL. Viacom18 has committed INR 951 crores, which is a per-match value of INR 7.09 crores for the next 5 years (2023-27).

The faith of all our bidders for this process also testifies that they see value in investing in this property which will only be growing with each passing year. Women’s cricket has shown immense growth in the past few years and our own T20 league, it only solidifies our approach towards women’s cricket and the potential it has for growth in India. I would once again like to congratulate Viacom18 and would also like to thank all our bidders for supporting and showing faith in our prospects.”

Rajeev Shukla, Vice-President, BCCI, said: "I'm truly glad to witness a new dawn in women's cricket today. The Women's IPL would elevate the stature of women's cricket across the globe and would groom talents at the grassroots level. Congratulations to Viacom18 for winning the media rights for Women’s IPL 2023-27. We hope to witness phenomenal enthusiasm and support from cricket audiences worldwide."

BCCI Treasurer Ashish Shelar said, “I congratulate and thank Viacom18 for their record bid and faith in the league. With a consolidated bid of INR 951 crore they have won both the TV as well as digital rights. These are record numbers for a women’s tournament and signal to a promising start to Women’s IPL. I am confident that the tournament will prove to be a game-changer and that the popularity of women’s cricket will soar further. A lot of work is being done behind the scenes and the first season of this unique tournament will truly be memorable.”

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Jio to stream IPL for free in 11 regional languages

The app is expected to sell inventory, not only on impressions but also as 10-second slots, the way it is sold on TV

By Naziya Alvi Rahman | Jan 10, 2023 8:21 AM   |   2 min read

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In a move that is likely to be a game-changer for IPL this season, Sports18 is believed to have decided to air IPL free on the Jio app, taking its reach to over 500 million users. As part of its strategy to take TV head-on, the app is expected to sell its inventory, not only on impressions but also as 10-second slots, exactly like how it is sold on TV.

Sources in the industry claimed the pitch by Sports18 is concentrated around four points. Unlike Disney+ Hotstar, the matches will be available free on the Jio app and that too in 11 different languages, including Bhojpuri, Tamil and Bengali.

Coming to the pricing, Sports18 is believed to have marginally slashed its rates to attract diverse advertisers. “They are playing on reach and mass. They claim to reach 500+ million subscribers and no match is behind any paywall. They want to connect with newer advertisers who have always aspired to be associated with IPL but did not have the means. Also, the legacy brands will nevertheless continue their association,” said a senior media planner.

Echoing the views, another senior media expert said: “They may just start with a lower slab and later increase the rates depending upon the response they may get going forward. It’s always smart to play the mass game,” he added.

The digital player is also believed to be banking on the growth of connected TV. “Most people, particularly in the cities, have smart TVs and may prefer installing the Jio app over investing in a package. Hence, this will bring you IPL for free on your big screen as well," the expert noted.

Sports18, when contacted for comments, neither accepted nor denied the claims.

Early last year, Viacom18 (Sports18) bagged the IPL digital rights for the Indian subcontinent for a whopping sum of Rs 20,500 crore, which amounts to Rs 50 crore per match.

“They have a huge sum to recover and so they are looking at different possible ways to sell their game. Being the debutant in the domain they want to play safe yet aggressive,” said another senior industry player.

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Women's IPL: Media rights auction on Jan 16

Broadcasters like Disney+ Star, Sony-ZEE and Viacom18 are reportedly in the fray for the rights

By exchange4media Staff | Jan 9, 2023 12:10 PM   |   2 min read

women's ipl

The media rights auction for the highly anticipated Women's IPL will be held on January 16, as opposed to January 12 as reported before.

The auction will see participation from big broadcasters such as Disney+ Star, Sony-ZEE and Viacom18who will reportedly submit their bids on the said date. The bidding will reportedly be a closed process with the best bidder bagging the rights.

"Any interested party wishing to submit a bid is required to purchase the ITT. However, only those satisfying the eligibility criteria set out in the ITT and subject to the other terms and conditions set out therein, shall be eligible to bid. It is clarified that merely purchasing this ITT does not entitle any person to bid. The BCCI reserves the right to cancel or amend the bidding process at any stage in any manner at its discretion," BCCI stated.

The country has been waiting with bated breath for the inaugural edition of the tournament to be held in March 2023. Given the popularity of women's cricket in India, the event is touted to be a big draw for all stakeholders involved, especially for broadcasters.'

e4m previously reported that the cricket board is expecting to earn Rs 8-10 crore per match and around Rs 160-200 crore from the 20 matches in the tournament, from media rights, sources closed to the development told e4m. BCCI is set to earn about Rs 107 crore per match in the men’s IPL from 2023 onwards. 

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Brand Mumbai Indians valued at $83 million: Report

According to Brand Finance, Mumbai Indians has nearly doubled its brand value over the years with a 99% growth since 2009

By exchange4media Staff | Dec 28, 2022 1:09 PM   |   1 min read

MI

Mumbai Indians has been valued at $83 million by global brand valuation agency – Brand Finance. According to the report, Mumbai Indians has registered a 4% spike as compared to 2021. 

The five-time IPL Champion has a mix of marquee and global brands on board, including DHL, TeamViewer, Cadbury Dairy Milk along with Slice. According to Brand Finance, Mumbai Indians has nearly doubled its brand value over the years with a 99% growth since 2009. This reflects the trust and strong brand partner portfolio of the franchise with brands having a high pedigree, which is not restricted to geographies. Its associations have also evolved with like-minded partners with whom Mumbai Indians has stitched long-term partnerships, unlocking maximum value for both brands.

Currently, Mumbai Indians has over 32 million fans across its social media platforms.

Notably, Mumbai Indians also emerged as the only brand to have registered a growth in 2020, unfazed by market slowdown and apprehensions amongst sponsors globally regarding investment in sports due to the pandemic.

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IPL Auction Live: Broadcaster, streaming partner set to make big money

While Star Sports is reportedly seeking Rs 35-40 lakh for a co-presenting sponsor slot, JioCinema is said to have priced its inventory at Rs 20 lakh

By Sonam Saini & Kanchan Srivastava | Dec 22, 2022 8:28 AM   |   2 min read

IPL

The Indian Premier League has grown into a decacorn within 13 years of its launch with sponsors and advertisers playing a big role in this journey.

Such is the craze for this sports property that even the live telecast of the players’ auction, slated to be held in Kochi this Friday, is set to make huge money for the broadcasters. IPL’s official broadcaster, Star Sports, and digital streaming partner, JioCinema, are selling ad inventory at premium rates. They have even onboarded a few sponsors for the live telecast. The list of sponsors even has an international bank, sources privy to the development have told e4m.

“Star Sports is seeking Rs 35-40 lakh for co-presenting sponsor of the live telecast. While associate sponsorship is priced at Rs 19-20 lakh, a spot buy is costing around Rs 11-16 lakh,” sources claimed.

Officials further said, “The broadcaster is also offering different packages for the auction day, ranging between Rs 12-18 lakh.”

JioCinema is reportedly seeking Rs 20 lakh for sponsorship packages, another source informed.

Queries sent to Star Sports remained unanswered till the time of filing this story. 

IPL media partners had been reigning in as sponsors in the past auctions as well, but their rates were not in this range, experts said.

In a historic auction held early this year, Disney Star acquired the rights to broadcast men’s IPL in the Indian subcontinent for Rs 23,575 crore ($3.02 Bn) for 2023-27, and Viacom18 grabbed the digital rights for the league with a bid of Rs 20,500 Cr ($2.57 Bn).

With $12 million per match, IPL is only behind the NFL as the world's 2nd most lucrative sports league.

Action at Auction

The IPL 2023 auction shortlist has 405 cricketers, including 273 from India. A maximum of 87 slots are up for grabs, with 30 to be filled by overseas players, BCCI has said.

Rs 2 crore has been set as the highest reserve price. While 19 overseas players have chosen to be slotted in the highest bracket, 11 players are with a base price of Rs 1.5 crore. Manish Pandey and Mayank Agarwal are the two Indian players on the list of 20 cricketers with a base price of Rs 1 crore.

The auction is set to start at 14:30 IST. Fans can watch the live streaming on JioCinema and the live telecast on Star Sports.

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IPL a 'decacorn' after crossing $10 billion valuation in 2022: Report

The value of the IPL ecosystem has grown 75% in dollar terms since 2020, D and P Advisory's 'Beyond 22 Yards' report

By exchange4media Staff | Dec 21, 2022 8:40 AM   |   4 min read

IPL

D and P Advisory announced the launch of a valuation report on one of the largest sporting events in the world- the Indian Premier League (IPL) for 2022. The report titled “Beyond 22 Yards” highlights that the value of the IPL Ecosystem registered a 75% growth since 2020, and now stands at USD 10.9 billion. In 2020, the IPL was valued at USD 6.2 billion. This valuation makes IPL a Decacorn (a business with a value of more than USD 10.0 billion) within 15 years of inception. The IPL Ecosystem represents the value generated by the IPL as a business.

A landmark event this time was the auction of the IPL media rights for 2023 to 2027. For the first time, media rights were spread among different broadcasters, breaking the monopoly of one company. The league has sold media rights at USD 6.2 billion, registering a three-fold jump compared to the previous 5-year cycle in 2017. Additionally, the tournament in 2022 also registered a record-breaking combined viewership of 426 million on television and OTT platforms.

With two new teams (Gujarat Titans and Lucknow SuperGiants) getting bought last year at a combined staggering value of USD 1.6 billion, the average price tag of a team has seen a whopping 16-fold jump from its inception. These two factors were instrumental in boosting the valuation of IPL to become a Decacorn and the second-largest sporting league (on a per-match basis from broadcasting fees) globally.

To add to the momentum, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has announced the launch of the Women’s Indian Premier League with a base price for a franchise at INR 400 crores (USD 50 million). This price is higher than most other cricket leagues globally and will add immense value to the overall IPL Ecosystem.

However, on a broader scale, IPL is significantly behind in terms of ad rates, when compared with some of the other global sporting leagues. For example, a 10-second slot for an ad during IPL 2022 cost nearly USD 20,000; whereas, the ad rates for the same time slots at National Football League, English Premier League and Major League Baseball were over USD 1,00,000. Drawing this comparison, the report mentions how IPL has a lot more space to grow in the future provided broadcasters are able to monetise the content well.

On the launch, Santosh N, Managing Partner, D and P Advisory says, “Since its launch in 2008, IPL has reimagined the nation’s cricket competition. IPL 2022 witnessed some major milestones and captivating games throughout the season. The renewed media rights deal was a major contributor towards a substantial jump in value for a relatively young league like IPL. These observations are an assurance of the fact that the IPL will continue to revolutionise the game of cricket and will be etched in the hearts of millions of fans for years to come.”

The report goes on to say that the IPL team owners are looking to replicate the multi-club ownership model as part of their long-term strategy. For example- The Knight Riders Group owning the right to Trinbago Knight Riders in the Caribbean Premier League, and a franchisee of the UAE T20. It also has plans to build cricket stadiums in Los Angeles, USA, in partnership with the Major League cricket. Reliance Industries, the owners of Mumbai Indians, recently unveiled two new franchises in UAE’s International League T20 and Cricket South Africa T20 League.

Furthermore, with BCCI having forged and locked in new broadcasting deals for the next five years, the report foresees a more stable phase in terms of the value of the IPL Ecosystem. “The value appreciation may not be as fast as seen in the earlier years”, it states.

The report also states that digital rights being sold separately from TV rights would result in greater engagement on digital platforms. Further, the impending introduction of 5G services, greater penetration of the internet and increased smartphone usage will add to the rise in viewership.

The report concluded by stating that for these growth trajectories to maintain their momentum, all teams need to continue broadening their footprint, forming relationships, and generating revenue opportunities in different markets. Ultimately, apart from the love for cricket that viewers have, much of cricket’s future depends on ensuring quality; not just for the fans, but also to attract sponsors and broadcasters, the latter of which has become vital for the game’s financial health.

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Women’s IPL: Better to sell media rights before franchise auction, says IPL Chairman

BCCI has not set any base price for the Women's IPL rights

By exchange4media Staff | Dec 20, 2022 10:17 AM   |   1 min read

Women's IPL

IPL Chairman Arun Dhumal has said that selling media rights for Women's IPL before conducting the auction for franchises will help prospective team buyers get a better perspective of the possible revenue, media networks have said.

The BCCI has not set any base price for the Women's IPL rights and is waiting for the markets to set the price, Dhumal was quoted as saying.

BCCI is expected to earn about Rs 107 crore per match in the men’s IPL from 2023 onwards.

Click here for our earlier report.

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