IPL 8: MSM rakes in Rs 1000+ crore in revenue

MUMBAI: After defeating Chennai Super Kings by a huge margin in the final of the Pepsi Indian Premier League (IPL) 2015, Mumbai Indians emerged as the champion for the second time! However, it’s not only the Reliance owned Mumbai Indians that is celebrating. IPL 2015 was also a champagne opener for Multi Screen Media (MSM), as the official broadcaster is speculated to earn an unprecedented Rs 1200 crore from the tourney.


IPL 8 came in right after the ICC Cricket World Cup, which started with substantial performances from team India, which made brands go ballistic. Naysayers speculated that IPL might face the plight of brand’s fatigue. Also the Supreme Court intervention raised several questions over the integrity of the tournament.


The speculations and controversies were anything but a hurdle for the progressive league feels a senior media expert. “This is the best IPL Sony has ever had since inception. They had Rs 1000 crore before the first ball was bowled. More brands associated with them and hence the inventory was packed. Hence the argument of fatigue and integrity was null and void. In fact, in my opinion, they raised more than Rs 1200 crore so IPL is here to stay and will grow bigger and better,” he said.


However, a senior official from MSM says that the broadcaster fetched around Rs 1000 crore this IPL, which is on a ‘slightly’ conservative side from the speculated Rs 1200 crore figure!


Not only in terms of brand engagements, IPL 2015 was a pioneer for cricketainment too, GroupM ESP national director Vinit Karnik told, “This year I think we had the most number of last over finishes. In fact, the number of last three balls finishes was relatively high, quality of cricket was great and naturally the positive aspects reflected in the ratings, which were also higher than before. Overall, IPL just exhibited another year of exquisiteness and left a subtle answer who doubted the longevity of the tournament.”


“IPL 2015 was an enlightening year, which sent a strong message about the coming generation of Indian cricket. Shreyas Iyer, Hardik Pandya, Pawan Negi showed their talent and that’s the beauty of IPL. This year, the experience was even better because five teams had opportunities till the last ball of the final league match was played and only two teams were declared eliminated before the last week of the tournament. So all this signifies that the tournament is becoming more unpredictable and competitive, which is exactly what cricket lovers want. This IPL is a step back for critics and forward for the tournament,” opined former first class cricketer and veteran cricket analyst Hemant Kenkre.


MSM holds the rights to the IPL till 2017 until it goes under the hammer again. When asked if there are possibilities of an increase in the broadcasting rights of the tourney, when it comes up for bidding again, Karnik said, “I certainly think it will go up and by a significant margin because the ratings are going up and in two years, it will manage to reach more people, which will naturally add to the value.”


New sporting leagues in the heart of India are establishing the nation’s vision on sports but all the mushrooming leagues are dependent on a solitary revenue source and that is advertising. The first edition of Indian Super League (ISL) succeeded to garner huge publicity and hence will be in the mind of brands and so will the soon to be played Pro Kabaddi League. With this, the revenue pie is no doubt getting distributed among various avenues.


When queried if this division of pie could impact cricket and whether BCCI’s low revenue generation in the previous financial year was due to that, Karnik informed, “BCCI’s low revenue was due to lack of international cricket in domestic conditions and has nothing to do with emerging leagues. Cricket in the near future is unlikely to get effected by any other sporting event. The new leagues will find a new source and at the same time new brands will associate with cricket. At this point of time, there is no competition to cricket and events like IPL with safely prevail.”


MSM, in association with BCCI, launched Fan Park initiative to bring IPL action closer to cities not hosting IPL matches and that venture also saw good success. Apart from that, the broadcaster took the multilingual feed route to target regional audiences but did not monetize it separately and went for similar inventory. However, rumours are rife that after garnering good ratings from the regional feeds, MSM may have different inventories for different feeds in the coming year.


Overall it remains to be seen if this mix of new and old, cricket and entertainment, brands and viewership continues to propel and establish itself as a goose that laid the golden eggs for fans, broadcasters and BCCI. 

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