Multi Screen Media eyes strong ad rev growth from IPL

MUMBAI: Multi Screen Media‘s (MSM) strategy of reducing ad rates for the sixth edition of the IPL appears to be paying off. It has already roped in nine sponsors and is looking for two more. For its wrap around show ‘Extraaa Innings‘, it has also got in seven sponsors compared to six last year.

MSM president network sales, licensing and telephony Rohit Gupta said, "We reduced our rates by 10 per cent. This has helped old clients return and we have also got new companies on board. We have managed to get into new conversations. In a slowdown economy, advertisers want minimum risk. We are looking for a revenue increase of at least 25-30 per cent. So far we have sold around 70 per cent and there are still three more weeks to go for the tournament to start. The plan is to hold back 15-20 per cent and sell it at a higher rate once the event starts."

The co-presenting sponsors are Pepsi and Vodafone. The seven associate sponsors are Tata Photon, Samsung Mobile, Panasonic, Havells, Usha Appliances, Karbonn Tablets and Godrej.

"We are looking for two more associate sponsors since there is a healthy demand. We are happy that our strategy has resulted in Samsung and Godrej coming back. Panasonic and Usha Appliances have come on board for the first time."

As far as â€?Extraaa Innings‘ is concerned, MSM has got Amul, eBay, Titan, Nivea, Renault, V Guard and Nestle as sponsors for the IPL. It has sold packages like fall of wickets which has been taken by Luminous, and action replay which has been taken by ACC and Amity. There are also several spot buyers with whom MSM has done deals with including Coca-Cola, Parle Agro, Marico, Nikon, Sony India, Berger Paints, and Airtel.

"The IPL‘s reach has seen a steady growth. If you look at other recent series like India versus Pakistan, it disappointed with the ratings being much less than what was expected by the industry. With Six having a Hindi feed, IPL advertisers will get even more reach. Our marketing campaign has started. Pepsi is also doing a lot of activation. The BCCI is marketing the property. All of this is creating a lot of buzz in the market. The opening ceremony in Kolkata should set the tone for the event," Gupta said.

Vivaki Exchange CEO Mona Jain said that MSM should make Rs. 1.5 billion extra this year as their inventory would get sold out. "I expect the IPL to garner around Rs 8.5 billion this year compared to Rs 7 billion last time. A lot of youth and male focussed brands have come on board. What is seen is that Hindi GECs and Hindi news channels lose share during the event. Males watch those genres less when the IPL is on. So clients try to make up for that. Nobody is splurging. It is just that some companies feel that the IPL is a necessary platform to be on. Others who have less marketing outlay are more conservative. Brand visibility is the main reason to be on the IPL. Companies will use the IPL as a platform to launch new products. For a company like Pepsi, this isthe period where their product is consumed heavily."

Gupta, however, expects MSM to rake in around Rs 10 billion this year.

LodestarUN CEO Shashi Sinha said that it is not just the rate reduction that has seen clients come on board. "The environment is also different. There is no World Cup this time around unlike 2011. Also companies have put their marketing plans in place. The channel will do well."

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