Marred by a spot-fixing controversy in IPL7, Multi Screen Media had generated ad revenue worth Rs 600-700 crore.
When curtains came down on this year’s edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), it was not just the Mumbai Indians team that was celebrating. After a tepid response by advertisers last year, Multi Screen Media (MSM), the official broadcaster of IPL, clocked advertising revenue of about Rs 1,000 crore. It is now aiming for a 10-15% hike in ad revenue next season.
That’s not all. Apart from being the money-spinner that it is, IPL 8 registered an increase in viewership. Data released by TAM Media Research, a TV rating monitoring agency, show average television viewership in thousands (TVT) showed 23% growth for IPL 8 compared to IPL 7. The time spent by viewers per match was 45 minutes and 43 seconds, up 9% from IPL 7. Finally, 59 matches of IPL 8 were sampled by 190 million unique viewers.
“This year has been one of the best. In addition to a rise in ad revenue and being able to meet the target, the tourney’s viewership has risen almost 20%. IPL has become a marquee property just like the English Premier League. Advertisers have also realised the reach and engagement the tournament provides and so are more than keen to invest in it,” said Rohit Gupta, president of Multi Screen Media (MSM).
Marred by a spot-fixing controversy in IPL7, MSM had generated ad revenue worth Rs 600-700 crore.
This year saw some big brands, including e-commerce companies, associating with the tourney. MSM signed up 12 sponsors, including PepsiCo, Vodafone, Hero MotoCorp, Paytm, Intex Mobiles, Amazon, Cardekho.com, Magicbricks.com, Vimal Pan Masala, Raymond, Cadbury and Parle Products. Presenting sponsors such as Vodafone and Amazon paid Rs 60-70 crore for their association with the property while associate sponsors such as Cardekho.com and Paytm paid Rs 35-40 crore. Pepsi, which continues to be the title sponsor, had struck a deal for Rs 400-450 crore for five years. Ad rates too went up 10-15% over the previous season, when a 10-second ad spot went for Rs 4.5-5 lakh.
The fact that IPL has been a consistent property in terms of delivering eyeballs, analysts feel, is the reason advertisers flock to it year after year. “IPL has a huge regional affinity amongst viewers. Moreover India’s performance at the World Cup this year also helped in maintaining the momentum and keeping the interest alive in the tourney,” said Balakrishna PM, COO at Allied Media, a media planning and buying agency from the Percept Group.
For Gupta, an increase in viewership is indeed good news. “As every year IPL gets sampled and viewed by more viewers the scale of the tourney too increases. It also proves that the tourney is a hit amongst viewers despite courting all kinds of controversies,” he added.
Agrees Balakrishna of Allied Media, who says as viewers can watch IPL matches across multiple platforms, including mobile applications like Hotstar, the viewership is rising. “As more and more people sample the tourney especially in the smaller towns on mobile apps like Hotstar, it increases interest and brings viewers to television to watch the match. With the format and the business model of the tourney set, the only MSM needs to focus is on distribution,” he said.