With four matches to go in the much-hyped Indian Premier League (IPL), the business of cricket is still alive and kicking, thank you.
Despite apparent viewer fatigue (as reflected by plunging viewership), controversies over the format and player commitment, the advertiser still seems gung-ho. The most expensive ad-slots on offer are already sold out, despite the viewership decline. “We have sold 10-second slots for Rs15 lakh and have seen a huge brand interest due to limited inventory,” said Rohit Gupta, president, Multi Screen Media (MSM), the company that runs SET Max. Last season, the slots sold for R9 lakh.
The average television rating points (TRPs) for 59 matches dropped by approximately 28%, according to TAM media research.
Gupta says TRPs cannot be a measure of the popularity of a programme. “One should consider the reach of the event. This season we have already reached over 155 million subscribers against 143 million last season,” he said.
During the league stages, a 10 second ad-slot on the channel was going for as much as R8.5 lakh — nearly double of last year’s rate.
“Usually, whatever viewership, final knockouts generally attract the sentiments of the advertisers. Brands have happily purchased the slots despite lowest TRPs,” said Jai Lala, principal partner, Mindshare.
MSM has earned more revenue and have already raked in around R1000 crore. “This year, a new cricket formula was at work — the more you consume, the more addicted you become,” commented Santosh Sood, an independent media consultant and former CEO of media agency Rediffusion Y&R.