Star Disney sells 90% TV ad inventory for IPL 2021

The broadcaster is expected to onboard a few more associate sponsors soon

e4m by Javed Farooqui
Updated: May 6, 2021 5:15 PM

Broadcaster Star Disney India has sold 90% of its TV ad inventory for the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 that will take place from April 9 to May 30. The network has confirmed 14 broadcast sponsors so far.

The list includes Dream11, Just Dial, Byju's and PhonePe as co-presenting sponsors, besides Vi, Mondelez, ITC's Bingo, Kamla Pasand, Parle's Frooti, Association of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI), Asian Paints, Amazon Prime, Coca-Cola's Thums-Up, and Groww as associate sponsors.

“Star Disney India has sold 90% of its ad inventory. In the coming days, the broadcaster is expected to add few more associate sponsors. The total associate sponsors will be in the range of 12-14,” said an industry source on condition of anonymity.

An email sent to Star Disney India for official comments is yet to be answered. 

As reported earlier, the broadcaster is charging Rs 13.2 lakh per 10 seconds from co-presenting sponsors and Rs 13.6 lakh per 10 seconds from associate sponsors. Spot buyers have to fork out Rs 14.1 to 14.3 lakh for a 10-second spot. As much as 50% of the IPL ad inventory on television will be consumed by sponsors while the remaining half will be utilised by spot buyers.

Star Disney India had earned TV ad revenue of Rs 2800 crore from IPL 2020. The broadcaster is expecting a 16-18% increase in revenue from the tournament in 2021.

"Star made Rs 2800 crore from TV ad revenue in 2020 despite a recessionary economy. With the economy bouncing back, the broadcaster could see a 16-18% growth in ad revenue from IPL 2021," an industry source said, on condition of anonymity.

Also, the broadcaster is attempting to bring down the number of sponsors for IPL. The rationale being that spot buys fetch better rates compared to sponsorship rates. In IPL 2020, the sponsors utilised 52% of the ad inventory which will settle at around 50% for IPL 2021. The broadcast side of the IPL coverage will see around 90-100 brands advertising on the Star India network.

The source also mentioned that the contribution of HD feed to the overall ad revenue is 35-40% since HD viewers are mostly premium homes and are heavy consumers of sports content compared to SD viewers. "Almost 90% of HD homes watch sports content while the number for SD homes is only 50-60%," the source said.

IPL 2021 is expected to have multi-lingual feeds. In 2020, the tournament had English, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Bengali, and Marathi language feeds across sports and regional language channels. The possibility of airing matches on Star Disney's kids channels is also being evaluated.

Star Disney India's streaming platform Disney+ Hotstar has also had a good start with 10 sponsors coming on-board. Dream11 is the co-presenting sponsor, Upstox and Vimal Elaichi are the co-powered by sponsors while PhonePe, Association of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI), Unacademy, Pharmeasy, Livspace, Swiggy, and Parle Agro have signed on as associate sponsors.

The platform is estimated to have earned ad revenue of Rs 370-380 crore from IPL 2020. The projected ad revenue for Disney+ Hotstar is higher than 2020 since the streaming platform was not able to fully sell its inventory last year, the source said.

The tournament will be streamed on Disney+ Hotstar in five languages – English, Hindi, Telugu, Kannada, and Tamil and will be exclusively available to subscribers of Disney+ Hotstar VIP (Rs 399 for 12 months) and Disney+ Hotstar Premium (Rs 1499 for 12 months).

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