IPL to auction players live on TV

Written by Pritha Mitra Dasgupta | Mumbai, Jan 25 | Updated: Jan 26 2008, 05:32am hrs
It promises to be as exciting as Twenty20 cricket. Come February 8, and the likes of Mukesh Ambani, Vijay Mallya, Shah Rukh Khan, Preity Zinta and Ness Wadia, among others, will appear live on SET Max to bid for players for their respective Indian Premier League (IPL) teams. The celebrities are among successful bidders for the eight teams auctioned by BCCI, which owns IPL.

Confirming this development, Kunal Dasgupta, CEO, Sony Entertainment Television, told FE, We will showcase the auction live on SET Max in order to create more hype and awareness around IPL. We will also be sharing the feed with all news channels.

A senior media analyst, who didnt want to be quoted, said, A few days ago, Sonys gross rating points were around 110. Then, the channel was charging anything between Rs 65,000 and Rs 80,000 for a ten-second advertising slot. Considering such an auction has never taken place in India, the channel can pitch anything between Rs 1 lakh and Rs 1.25 lakh per ten-second slot. Most buyers now consider cost per rating point rather than effective rate. Considering that, Sony can demand higher rates.

Sony will be handling the entire programme packaging. However, it will be critical to see at what time the auction is held. The channel might lose out on advertising if the auction is aired during the day as the auction is seen as primarily a male-skewed event. Furthermore, Dasgupta is not worried of possible lost revenues from sharing the feed with news channels. I would rather share the feed now and lose out on some money, than later when we start showing the matches, he said.