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Star pitches IPL sponsorship at Rs.150 cr

16-January-2018
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Star pitches IPL sponsorship at Rs.150 cr

The Indian Premier league (IPL) seems to be getting more and more premium with every passing year. If industry sources are to be believed, Star India, which earned the telecast and digital rights of the event after an ambitious bid, has already started asking for handsome rates from the advertisers for its sponsorship.

The broadcaster is believed to have raised the stakes further by asking for a whopping Rs. 150 cr as the price to be a co-presenting sponsor of the game. Last year, e-commerce giant Amazon reportedly paid Rs. 62 cr to be the co-presenter. However, one cannot compare the two amounts as Star India’s Rs. 150 cr comes as a package with access to Hotstar, regional channels as well as content integration. Until last year, the Sony Pictures Network (SPN) only had the television broadcast rights for the game. The pricing for the associate sponsor is also expected to see a hike of close to 100% but again the price offered by Star is that of a package that includes digital and regional. For associate sponsor, Star is believed to have asked for Rs. 75 cr to Rs. 69 cr per sponsor. Last year, Sony had around 11 associate sponsors who bought television spots for approx. Rs. 30-35 cr each.

While Star India did not comment on the sponsorship rates despite emails and messages, industry sources confide that the final deal may close at a negotiated price. “This is the first quote and we are hoping to get clarity on the exact deal only by February end or beginning March,” said a senior industry person.

Sources also claim that till now, Star has shared its rates with a few selected agencies. “These are initial quotes. After a bad 2017, I doubt the industry is ready to shell this much amount right at the beginning of 2018. We all knew that rates would increase but this cannot be taken as the final quote,” said a senior executive of a leading agency who did not wish to be quoted.

In 2017, SPN signed up 11 sponsors with e-commerce major Amazon, mobile handset maker Vivo and telecom giant Vodafone as the presenting sponsors. Other leading brands like Ceat, wire-maker Polycab, Yamaha Motorcycles, Vimal Pan Masala, MakeMytrip, Parle Agro’s Frooti, Voltas and Yes Bank were associate sponsors.

Star India, which bagged the IPL rights after an ambitious bid of Rs. 16,347.50 cr, is also working extensively to increase the viewership by 15-20% this season. The group is believed to be working on the restructuring of the timings and schedule of the matches, creating new shows and airing the matches in five to six different languages including English, Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, and Kannada. “It has been learned that they are planning to advance the timing of the evening match which earlier used to start at 8: 00 pm by half an hour. This will help to increase the reach in smaller towns where viewers are believed to go to bed a bit early,” said a senior industry person. The marketing team is also trying to work out a mechanism whereby it can play “hot matches” like Mumbai vs. Delhi, or Mumbai vs. KKR etc. on weekends.

Along with other innovations as mentioned above, the plan is also to introduce new shows around the IPL to create and sustain hype. A new show on 'Team rivalry' may be introduced to create excitement ahead of the matches. For serious cricket viewers, a show discussing cricket techniques may be introduced on the Star Select HD channel.

Tags IPL Sony Pictures Network Star India

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