Rs 9,000 crore in advertisement spend riding on cricket in 2023

A packed year to see the sport take a good 90% of overall expenditure.

Cricket | Advertising
Currently, the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup and the India-Australia Border Gavaskar Trophy series are underway.

The total advertising spending on sports this year is expected to nudge `10,000 crore across television channels and digital platforms, with cricket scooping up 90% of that amount. Within cricket, the lion’s share of `6,000 crore will go to the IPL (including women’s version of the tournament). Media industry experts estimate sports advertising could account for 12-13% of the country’s total advertising expenditure this year.

While the consensus characterises the advertiser sentiment as underwhelming, it could change during the peak summer season. Advertisers have been encouraged by the good ratings that cricket has received on television since the last quarter of CY22 and that is one reason IPL ad revenues across TV and digital are expected to grow by a strong 40% over last season. Of the estimated `6,000 crore that the IPL is expected to rake in, `3,500-4,000 crore will go to television channels, while digital is expected to command `2,000-2,500 crore.

The year 2023 got off to a good start with India winning the ICC women’s U-19 T20 World Cup. Currently, the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup and the India-Australia Border Gavaskar Trophy series are underway.

For the former, broadcaster Star Sports has got seven sponsors in Thums Up, Amway, Jindal Steel and Power, Google, HDFC Life, Kajaria and Policy Bazaar. For the India-Australia series, Star has enlisted Maruti Suzuki, Mastercard, PharmEasy and Paisa Bazaar among its sponsors. The women’s IPL (WPL) is slated for next month and will be followed by the men’s IPL. The latter half of the year will also see the ICC men’s cricket world cup, which will be hosted in India, and the Asia Cup, making 2023 a treat for cricket fans.

Last week, at a media round table, Anil Jayaraj, CEO of Viacom18 Sports, which won the media rights of Women’s Indian Premier League recently and also has the digital media rights for men’s IPL in its kitty, asserted that 2023 would be the year when digital ad spends overtake those on television. The television channel expects to earn upwards of `3,000 crore in ad revenues, twice the amount it earned from digital last season. Media observers believe that with JioCinema streaming IPL free of cost, the reach will definitely be much wider this year.

“If you look at the broader numbers in terms of ad sales for cricket specifically on TV, cricket as a genre has been picking up compared to other genres,” says Karan Taurani, SVP at Elara Capital. Taurani notes that one of the reasons IPL will attract bigger ad spending is because the number of games has increased by a good 20%.

He observes that IPL alone brings in around 75% of the sports advertisement expenditure on TV. “This year’s IPL will be disruptive because for the first time, the television and digital rights are with two different media companies. That will result in stiff competition for advertising dollars. In the past, advertising on television and digital was always bundled and sold together,” explains Taurani, who expects that it will still be a while before ad spending on digital surpasses TV spends.

An oversupply of cricket may be good news for the viewer but might not so for the advertiser, says Amol Dighe, CEO, investment and new business at Madison Media. “At the end of the day, marketers will have to choose where to invest since they have limited budgets to work with. How much can a brand pump into cricket beyond a point?” he asks.

That apart, categories like fintech, ed-tech, start-ups and gaming, which were heavy cricket spenders, are now cutting back advertising spends faced as they are with myriad challenges. “It will be difficult for broadcasters and digital platforms to effectively monetise these events,” points out Dighe. While cricket as a platform will continue to sell, he believes the next two to three weeks will provide a clearer picture of how much brands are willing to invest, once the big summer marketing plans are finalised.

The good news is, sports viewership overall has been growing in the country. Ajit Varghese, head of network ad sales at Disney Star, says, “Sports viewership on television grew by 11% in 2022, with 758 million viewers watching sports on TV. We expect the positive momentum to continue well into 2023 given a solid line-up of high-octane tournaments.”

Follow us on TwitterInstagramLinkedIn, Facebook 

Get live Share Market updates and latest India News and business news on Financial Express. Download Financial Express App for latest business news.

First published on: 14-02-2023 at 10:54 IST
Exit mobile version