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IPL 2020: Brands opt for spot buying over bigger packages

Star Sports maintains the rates at Rs 13-15 lakhs per 10-sec, Hotstar spikes by 50%

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NEW DELHI: It was being coined for long by the industry insiders that IPL will bring respite to the broadcasters from tardy advertising revenues that they are dealing with since the onset of Covid-19 pandemic, in early March.

The tournament will take place in UAE this year between September 19 and November and is touted to be the biggest Live Sports event this year. Undoubtedly, there is a lot of excitement about the property among consumers, broadcasters and brands.

It has been widely reported that Star has set a target of Rs 3000 crore in advertising revenues for IPL this year.

Media Ant co-founder Samir Chaudhary shares, the ad rates for Star Sports are pretty much the same as the last time, Rs 13-15 lakhs per 10 seconds but on Hotstar it has gone up from ‘120 CPM in last season to ‘180 CPM.

Interestingly, the experts pointed that while the advertisers are happy to go ahead with this high impact property, they are also playing it safe when it comes to buying ad slots on Star Sports and Hotstar for the tournament. Unlike every year, brands are not flocking to buy package deals but are smartly investing in spot buying, a leading marketing expert tells us. He adds that this is also the reason that ad rates have been slightly up this year. 

Several reports indicate that Star has already sold a large part of their ad inventory and the rest of the inventory will be sold close the bigger matches. A lot will also depend on the viewership numbers of the tournament. For the record, IPL has always been able to clock high viewership numbers. In 2019, the cricketing league clocked a viewership of 462 million.

Media veteran Shripad Kulkarni notes, “For Star Sports, these are the rates that they have begun with but it is a very dynamic situation this time. It will all depend on demand and supply. Also, usually, they used to open the FCTs once the sponsors were finalised but they don’t have much time now, so all of this is running parallely. I am hoping for the sake of all us that there is a last-minute surge in the prices as many are looking at it as a point of revival.” 

Interestingly, this year, IPL is coinciding with the festive season which is further helping its cause. Traditionally brands are keen to advertise during this season to reach out to their consumers who are in a good mood to purchase. Advertisers have a very small window and they prefer to go all in during this time. So, this year, it is expected that advertisers will be happy to pay a premium for IPL slots to reach out to their consumers.

In a recent interaction with Indiantelevision.com CEO, founder, and editor-in-chief Anil Wanvari, Havas Media group MD India Mohit Joshi had noted that good 25-30 per cent of this year’s festive season spends will be taken by forthcoming the cricketing league, scheduled to happen between 19 September and 8 November.

Another expert insisted that the market sentiments are fairly positive right now and a number of brands are in the process of buying ad slots. Though, he adds that the sponsorship rates are running about 25 per cent low this year. 

The positive sentiment around the property was further enhanced with the announcement of Dream11 replacing Vivo as the title sponsor. The fantasy league brand bought the sponsorship right for Rs 222 crore.

On the digital front, Disney + Hotstar will play a major role this year. Several industry experts have pointed that they are expecting good viewership on Hotstar and therefore the ad rates are slightly higher, maybe up to 50 per cent more than the last time.” It is expected that a lot of brands will be keen to experiment with IPL on the digital front.

Surprisingly, Kulkarni is expecting a dip in the ad rates for Hotstar to the tune of 25-30 per cent from the last season. He also agrees that a lot is going to depend on demand and supply. The rates might be revised as the season progresses and viewership numbers are revealed. 

In terms of the number of FCTs sold, all the media experts maintained that many brands, from the ed-tech, automobile, and FMCG categories, are in the discussion phase and confirmations will follow in the next two weeks. 

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