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Great expectations: Slowdown might garner good viewership for IPL

10-February-2009
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Great expectations: Slowdown might garner good viewership for IPL

In the follow-up to the report on the Indian Premier League (IPL) dropping the exclusivity tag, exchange4media spoke to media planners on their expectations from Season 2 of IPL. Most are positive about the tournament garnering good viewership numbers, thanks to the slowdown.

According to the media planners, the slowdown has seen people cut down on the time spent outdoors, instead preferring to stay at home with their families. They feel that this was one reason why IPL Season 2 might see high ratings. Even brands would not want to miss being noticed during this time.

Sandeep Lakhina, MD, India - West and South, Starcom Worldwide, said, “After tasting success in Season 1, and with India also doing pretty well in cricket, I believe that the IPL Season 2 will be bigger and better. Pakistan’s absence from the game will have no effect on the numbers, but the slowdown has got its own mixed bag. There are some beliefs that with the slowdown, people prefer to stay home and spend less time out, therefore, they will watch more television.”

Sudha Natarajan, President and COO, Lintas Media Group, said, “We have big expectations from this season of IPL. Firstly, because of the delivery of Season 1, which was worth all the hype, therefore, we believe that Season 2 will be very good. Given the current market scenario, it is believed that the consumption of all external media will be stagnant and the consumption of television is on rise. And at this time with a product like IPL Season 2 coming on, it can only mean very good viewership.”

“People are still gung ho about the property that they are fairly keen to spend on it. There are certain sectors that have got affected in terms of employment and pay cuts, the rest of India is reacting with caution because of the overall sentiment. There are still enough brands for whom IPL is a huge opportunity loss if they do not get on the bandwagon, so there will still be more brands being part of IPL irrespective of who prefers to stay back. In fact, had this scenario not been there, then IPL would have been a difficult property to buy,” Natarajan pointed out.

According to Prasanth Kumar, Managing Partner CTG, GroupM, “IPL is a pretty good property, and after the success of Season 1, the expectations are really high over Season 2 and it is looking good. However, I believe that it will perform the same as last year, but it all depends on how they package themselves, therefore, their challenge lies on the novelty factor, which was high last year.”

No doubt, media planners are high on IPL Season 2, and thanks to the economic slowdown, there may be much higher viewership for the game this season as compared to last year. Even if there are brands that have preferred to stay out of the game this season, there are still several others waiting in line, and had there been no slowdown in the market, IPL would have been a difficult property to buy.

Also read:

IPL beats slowdown trends; removes exclusivity tag to bring in more brands

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