Slapgate, bribery, molestation, star tantrums, rave parties... and now, spot fixing. The litany of woes surrounding the annual domestic T-20 cricket jamboree is only growing. Yet, from the business point of view, its season six has delivered a palpable hit.
Revenues for the official broadcaster, Multi-Screen Media (MSM), which owns the SET Max channel, rose 50% this year to R900 crore, a big turnaround from 2012, when revenues had plunged 25% to R650 crore, a top official at MSM said.
The broadcaster sold out the entire 2,500 seconds of ad spots, though at the rates which were nearly 20% lower than the last season."The slight drop in rates helped us rope in new sponsors such as Parle, Usha, State Bank of India and bring back old clients such as Godrej and Samsung," said Rohit Gupta, president- network sales, MSM.
The channel sold 10-second ad spots for Rs 4-4.5 lakh in the initial stages and for R15 lakh in the last four matches. “Our strategy of reducing the opening price worked as this helped us increase rates for spot buyers at last stages,” Gupta said.
Last season, advertisers were not really jostling for slots, and nearly a third of ad-spots were unsold, industry sources said.
“Rational pricing helped de­m­and grow beyond proportion. But the return of sponsors would depend on clarity of controversies around league,” said Navin Khemka, partner, Zenith­Opti­media which buys media time for Karbonn, Nestle, Olx and Honda.
This season, the brand value of the tournament also grew by 4% to R16,362 crore before the spot fixing scandal broke, according to UK-based brand consultancy Brand Finance.