T20 World Cup: India’s exit may impact viewership, not ad revenue for broadcaster

Experts believe that there will be no loss of revenue for the broadcaster since the ad inventory for the tournament is already sold out

e4m by Sonam Saini
Published: Nov 12, 2021 8:34 AM  | 5 min read
cricket

While the exit of the Indian cricket team from the ICC T20 World Cup 2021 might have disappointed the fans across the world, the broadcast sponsors of the game are still keeping their hopes high from the cricket-loving country. Meanwhile, some drop in viewership is expected, however, the drop in ad revenue is out of the question since the official broadcaster Star Sports has already sold out its inventory.  

The Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) India weekly data indicates that Star Sports 1 Hindi (one of the channels that airing ICC T20 World Cup matches ) has managed to bag the second position across genres (Top ten channels- All India 2+) for the week 43 and 44. In week 43, the channel registered 2616.35 (000s) AMA whereas, in week 44, the channel recorded 2832.51 (000s) AMA. 

According to Star India official press note, the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 delivered exceptional viewership on the Star India network, the official broadcaster of the event, registering a cumulative reach of 238 million till last week (qualifiers + first 12 games of Super 12 stage). “The overall consumption reached an astounding 47 billion minutes (qualifiers + first 12 games of Super 12 stage),” read the press note. 

The impact of India’s exit on the viewership is yet to be seen. However, the experts believe that there will be no loss of revenue for the broadcaster since the ad inventory for the tournament is fully sold out. Meanwhile, the sponsors of the T20 World Cup are keeping their spirits high despite India’s exit from the game. 

“Cricket is a culture in India that connects people of all ages beyond boundaries, making it even more special. This makes it one of the best ways for brands to connect with their audiences,” said Kunal Bhardwaj, Senior Director - Marketing, Upstox. 

Bhardwaj further explained that their association with the T20 World Cup has been instrumental in spreading financial awareness and building an equity investment culture in the country. “It has given impetus to our aim of empowering people to maximize the potential of their investments."

For brands, associating with sports properties is more about the spirit. Winning and losing is part of every game and there is always another opportunity to try again. In India, cricket as a sport has bigger sentiments, and the love for the game should keep the viewership ticking,” said Bhardwaj.  

The official broadcaster of the tournament said that India- Pakistan match on October 24, is now the most viewed T20I match, exceeding the previous high – India-West Indies 2016 ICC World T20 semi-finals. The match reached 167 million viewers. 

According to ITW Mediaworx, Co-Founder and CEO Nikhil Vyas, the viewership data for ICC T20 World Cup is looking quite good. “The India-Pakistan match performed very well on the rating front delivering 15-17 TVRs in different target groups. In fact, India losing the first two matches generated a lot of interest in the remaining India matches, earlier perceived as Minnows along with the non-India matches featuring weaker teams, which wouldn't have been the case had India done well. The overall viewership of the tournament won't get impacted as India played all its five games and there was interest in most of the games,” said Vyas. He also believes that India's exit won't impact Star's ad revenue, as most of the ad inventory was pre-sold. Moreover, all live advertising deals are non-cancellable.

As earlier reported by exchange4media, the co-presenting sponsorship cost around Rs 60-70 crore, and the associate sponsorship is priced at around Rs 30-40 crore. Additionally, a 10-sec ad spot was sold for Rs 14-15 lakh. 

The broadcaster signed 19 sponsors for the tournament including Dream 11, Byju's, Phonepe, Thumps, Vimal, Havells, JioMart, netmeds.com are co-presenting sponsors, while Akash, Skoda, Whitehatjr, Great Learning, CoinDCX, Royal Stag, Cred, Upstox, Cadbury Dairy Milk Galaxy Watch 4 Series (Samsung) and Trends are associate sponsors.

BharatPe CMO Parth Joshi said that the ICC Men's T20 World Cup is one of the most-watched sporting events across the world and the property helped the company to create visibility for its new product, postpe.

“Being one of the flagship events in sports with viewership in millions across the world, this is indeed one of the top platforms for brands to drive awareness. We leveraged this platform well to create visibility for our newly launched buy now, pay Later product — postpe. The campaign performed well and over-delivered on our marketing metrics. There was of course an impact due to India's early exit, however, this was part of our scenario planning, and we had little impact overall. In all of this, ICC was a great partner and the collaboration resulted in a fantastic launch for postpe. The tournament has proven to be a great vector, and we will continue to leverage ICC’s other platforms during our association,” Joshi noted.

On the condition of anonymity, a senior media planner shared that there might be some impact/decline on the viewership since India exited the T20 World Cup. However, there will be no revenue loss for the broadcaster because Star sold out its inventory. “Sponsors were expecting India to play the finals but it's all part of the game and no one can predict who will win the game. With cricket, advertisers expect much more because investments are huge than any other game. They are disappointed but they also understand there’s nothing that could be done about this.”

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