Will IPL steal World Cup ad thunder?

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Published: January 16, 2015 1:46:18 AM

Multi Screen Media hikes IPL ad rates by 10-15%, claims sentiment upbeat this year

The ad inventory for the marquee club cricket property, the Indian Premier League (IPL), is selling at 10-15% over the previous season. Ad inventory rates were at Rs 4.5-5 lakh per 10 seconds last year. Presenting sponsors paid anywhere between Rs 50 and 60 crore for their association with the property in 2014, while associate sponsors Rs 35 crore. Multi Screen Media (MSM) president Rohit Gupta said the IPL ratings grew 7% in the previous season, despite the Lok Sabha election. “The IPL matches deliver on an average a 4.5 plus rating where as an average Indian cricket match wouldn’t get more than a 2.5 rating. The advertiser sentiment is a lot more upbeat this year,” he said.

Gupta said like last year, they are seeing huge interest from e-commerce companies. “Amazon came on board as a sponsor last year and that was a real game-changer for the e-commerce sector in the country. It was a coming-out party for e-commerce,” he said, adding, “The IPL helped build e-commerce as a category.”

The IPL is pitted against another marqee property — the ICC World Cup — which will commence in February and go on till March. The World Cup is scheduled to be played between February 14 and March 25. The IPL matches are scheduled for April 8 to May 24.

Advertisers are still in two minds over which property to root for. While IPL comes mired with betting and match-fixing controversies, the viewership for ICC World Cup depends wholly on India’s form. Also, many matches will be played at odd hours which could be inconvenient for some Indian viewers. There will be three match timings in India — the morning matches scheduled in Australia and New Zealand at 3.30 am, 6.30 am and the Day-night matches will take place at 9.00 am.

Gupta says it’s only a few weeks to go for the World Cup, but the Star Broadcast Network has made no announcements on sponsorships. “The World Cup is a risky proposition because it entirely depends on India’s form. Indians will have to get up at odd hours to view the matches. Some of the matches involving India are just duds, such as India versus Zimbabve or India against the UAE, or India versus Afghanistan. The IPL has proved time and time again that it is a stable property. It is an India-centric game. The franchises have a lot of fan followings,” said Gupta.

Navin Khemka, the managing partner (north and east) at Maxus, GroupM, said the rates on the IPL are games of demand and supply. “The market is bouyant right now, and advertisers are looking to make investments on high decibel properties. The broadcaster is justified in trying to make the most of it. But on the flipside, they also need to take into account just how much disposable cash there is.

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