Despite fixing scandal, IPL finals spots are a sell out

Set Max viewership has surged post spot fixing & the channel sold final inventory at Rs 17 lakh, with many brands lapping it up. Are the monies justified?

e4m by Abhinav Trivedi
Updated: May 24, 2013 7:35 PM
Despite fixing scandal, IPL finals spots are a sell out

Market sources reveal that Set Max, official broadcaster of IPL, has charged Rs 17 lakh for the final inventory of IPL while the normal inventory has been sold at Rs 14 lakh. The spot fixing controversy seems to be working for the broadcaster as the popularity and buzz around IPL has been increasing, although the trust factor in the tournament has gone down substantially.

As per the ratings data for week 20, Set Max secured 229 GRPs, adding five points since Week 19. In spite of the spot fixing controversy and alleged involvement of various bookies, players and even the CSK franchisee CEO in the entire scandal, the viewership of the channel has only increased post the controversy.

Market experts say that the increase in ratings is attributed to the fact that the tournament is in its final stages and the matches are getting very intense. But is it worth for brands to spend such a huge amount of money? “The trust factor and the market sentiments are low. People are watching IPL but they don’t find it credible. I feel the money being spent on IPL is over-stretched. I would not advise my partners to invest such a huge amount in the tournament. The industry at this stage is very buoyant,” said a head of a leading media agency in Delhi, on condition of anonymity.

Viewership of the channel has increased in the past week, and the channel has retained its second spot, trailing behind Star Plus. “We are not in the business of controversies regarding a property, but its viewership. If a property has an apt viewership, then why shouldn’t one spend? The objective is to gain as much visibility as possible. As long as the content is adhering to the norms of IBF and is commanding sizeable viewership, it is a win-win situation,” said Satyajit Sen, EVP, Zenith Optimedia.

Although no brand has commented on the cost factor involved in the last minute spot acquisition, market sources say that some brands have paid the final inventory cost.

Despite the trust factor, people are watching IPL. The tournament being in its last stage, fixing controversy and big names getting dragged, has generated interest, thereby creating a lot of buzz and hype. This works for brands and they are keeping their commitment to spend on the tournament intact.

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