IPL 2017: With demonetisation knocking off Rs 1,650 cr from ad spend, brands eye T20 tourney for booster shot

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Mumbai | Updated: Feb 20, 2017 12:28 PM

The demonetisation move knocked off R1,650 crore from overall advertising expenditure in November and December 2016, according to the recently unveiled Pitch-Madison AdEx report.

iplThe broadcaster, which claims to have built the T20 format from scratch, has already booked almost 80% of the ad inventory.

The demonetisation move knocked off R1,650 crore from overall advertising expenditure in November and December 2016, according to the recently unveiled Pitch-Madison AdEx report. Another report by GroupM reveals that demonetisation shaved off 2% from the total AdEx growth, ending calendar year 2016 with a 12% increase over 2015, which could have ended at over 13-14% under normal circumstances. Therefore, for brands, all eyes are now on the 10th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), the hot cricketing property that functions more as a showcase for advertisers.

IPL’s opening ceremony this year is slated for April 5. Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN), which has broadcast rights for IPL since its inception, is going all out to make the most of it, considering the T20 property’s broadcast rights go up for auction for next year. The network doesn’t see demonetisation impacting IPL. “One needs to understand that it is the property with the best RoI. Brands will need to invest in properties like IPL to make the most after demonetisation,” said Rohit Gupta, president for ad sales and international business at SPN.

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The broadcaster, which claims to have built the T20 format from scratch, has already booked almost 80% of the ad inventory. “We are looking at better revenues than last year,” said Gupta. “A huge marketing plan will be launched soon as it is the biggest property for us.” Last season, SPN had clocked advertising revenue worth R1,200 crore.

The network had garnered 1.02 billion impressions for LIVE IPL matches in 2016, as per BARC India (impressions equals the number of individuals of a target audience who viewed an ‘event’, averaged across minutes). “IPL is expected to see similar money this year as last, maybe marginally more. The tournament starts in April, by when things should be normalised,” said Sam Balsara, chairman and MD, Madison World. “Also, this is the last year that Sony has broadcasting rights for IPL, so it will go all out to get maximum revenue.”

Jai Lala, head (trading and partnerships, central trading group), GroupM said that the challenge this year is to look beyond demonetisation as IPL is a sure-shot property for brands to make a comeback as it has consistently delivered in the past.

The property has in earlier editions seen its share of up and downs, especially in 2013 when it was marred by spot fixing and betting controversies, subsequently leading to PepsiCo withdrawing as its title sponsor. Chinese smartphone maker Vivo Electronics is the current title sponsor of the tournament.

In terms of advertisers, IPL, is not dependent on any one or two categories but year-on-year, the network sees various categories — e-commerce, telecom, smartphones, auto, FMCG — coming on board. Last year saw a number of first-timers like Kent RO and Mother Dairy investing in the cricketing property.

The broadcasting rights for IPL will be auctioned for next year with SPN and Star India being the main contenders. Star India’s OTT platform Hotstar has the digital rights of the tournament.

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