Going into the last stage of the Indian Premier League’s ninth season, the buzz around the T20 tournament has only amplified. Taking this into account, Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN) has hiked its ad rates. Now, a 10-second spot will cost advertisers Rs 25 lakh for the last four matches.
“The ratings so far have been good; we don’t see any reason why we shouldn’t increase the rates,” says Rohit Gupta, president, network sales, SPN. “Last year, the rates for the last leg were Rs 16-18 lakh.”
This year’s tournament saw its own set of controversies, as matches were moved out of Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur because of the drought situation in Maharashtra. However, this hasn’t hit the ratings. So far, the Mumbai Indians versus Rising Pune Supergiants opening match garnered the highest ratings with 2,44,48,000 impressions (universe: All India, 4+), as per BARC India data.
Media planners and buyers believe that though the hike in ad rates is difficult to fathom, it is all about supply and demand, after all. The tournament over the years has proven itself and, hence, can demand such high rates. “There are numerous brands who like to cherry-pick the last matches for the highest visibility and don’t mind spending,” says Mohit Joshi, MD, Havas Media Group India, while emphasising on how a client had decided to opt for the last few matches even when the IPL had just begun in 2008.
Buying 100 ad spots across the tournament and buying a few in the last matches will cost a brand the same, say planners, and believe that there is nothing wrong if the channel demands so. “It all depends on clients and the broadcaster. One is looking at visibility while other can mint more moolah,” says a media planner who doesn’t wish to be named.
The ninth season of the IPL has seen a number of first-timers as well, especially from the smartphone category like LYF and Intex. Vivo, which entered India in December 2014, has shelled out Rs 100 crore a year for title sponsorship for two years after PepsiCo India pulled out after the match-fixing scandal of 2013. The ninth season has seen more than 80 brands piggy-backing on the IPL and its popularity.
The last phase of the IPL will start from May 24 and the final match will be held on May 29.