Star India saw a 20% increase in television subscription revenue in the first four months of the year, as per sources
The pandemic has adversely impacted all businesses, and Star India, the official broadcaster of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is no exception. The broadcaster’s earnings from advertising revenue which was expected to increase by 20-25% from the T20 tourney this year, will remain flat anywhere in the range of Rs 2,100 crore – Rs 2,300 crore, according to sources. This however does not include the ad revenue earned by its streaming platform Disney+ Hotstar – which was expected to earn Rs 500 crore, is now expected to earn between Rs 100 crore – Rs 200 crore. However, the media company might make up for the loss through a rise in subscription revenue. “With many categories suffering significant loss of business due to the lockdown, add to that the lowered presence of Chinese owned brands in segments such as mobile handsets – revenue from advertising will be negatively impacted,” Lloyd Mathias, business strategist told BrandWagon Online.
As per sources, Star India saw a 20% increase in television subscription revenue in the first four months of the year. Further, the broadcaster aims to double its subscriber base on Disney+ Hotstar from the current 11 million by the end of the year. Also, Hotstar offers Rs 399 annual pack which allows viewers to watch live sports without ad breaks. Industry analysts expect this pack to play a key role in driving subscriptions. “There will be a drop in ad revenue on IPL this year and the company will want to bridge the gap with spot buys and subscription revenue,” Ajay Trigunayat, founder and director, AQT Network, stated. As part of its plan, the network usually sells 60-70% of the ad inventory initially, while the remaining is sold during the tournament. What’s more, the absence of a distribution deal with telecom operators such as Jio is further supposed to hamper Hotstar’ ad revenue.
According to Nitin Bawankule, president, ad sales, Star & Disney India, Dream11 IPL 2020 will be a major catalyst for viewers and fans, and will be a success in terms of viewership and ad revenue. “We have created avenues for interactive advertising innovations which enable brands to engage with their audience more effectively. This has resulted in interest and investment from prestigious brands across categories as varied as auto to e-commerce to banking. All of this, coupled with enormous interest from viewers and fans, makes us confident that this year’s Dream11 IPL will be a resounding success.”
With Vivo exiting from IPL as the title sponsor and Dream11 taking its place in the 13th edition of IPL, Star India claims to have registered more digital and FMCG brands as advertisers this year as opposed to last. The broadcaster, which is expecting a record number of viewers for this edition of the IPL, has priced its advertisements rates the same as the pre-covid rates at Rs 12 lakh for per 10 second slot. Industry experts believe that the success of IPL should not be calculated simply on the basis of ad revenue. “The complete story of IPL success will include not just contribution from advertising but also from Disney+ Hotstar subscription as well as television subscriptions,” Ashish Pherwani, partner, media and entertainment, EY, said.