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MSM begins IPL 7 with 75% ad inventory sold, eight sponsors hop on

MUMBAI: Indian Premier League’s (IPL) official broadcaster Multi Screen Media (MSM) has managed to sell 75 per cent of its advertising inventory ahead of the T20 league’s desert safari.

IPL-7-logoThis year has been a challenging year for MSM due to weeks of uncertainty over the scheduling of the tournament. The fact that it is happening at the same time as elections only added to the uncertainty.

If one looks at the earlier IPL seasons, MSM used to lock 80 per cent of its sponsorship much before the tournament started. However, this year the broadcaster had to do wait till the last minute to stitch deals since the advertisers were doing hard bargain.

“There was a lull for three weeks because of uncertainty. When the Supreme Court’s ruling came, we started doing deals. There was also uncertainty about how many matches would take place outside India. The venue was also unclear as to whether it would be the UAE or Bangladesh. We had to deal with all of this. Now all that has been sorted out,” MSM president network sales, licensing and telephony Rohit Gupta said.

Vodafone and Karbonn Smart have come on board as co-presenting sponsors. The other associate sponsor list includes Amazon.in, Perfetti Van Melle, Havells, Marico, Cadbury India, Set Wet and TVS. For the ‘Extraaa Innings’ wraparound show, four to five sponsors have come onboard including Amul.

Last year, MSM had Pepsi and Vodafone as co-presenting sponsors while the associate sponsors included Tata Photon, Samsung Mobile, Panasonic, Havells, Usha Appliances, Karbonn Tablets, Godrej, and Parle.

An industry source tells that the uncertainty over schedule, election season and cautious mood among corporates over election results dampened the field for the broadcaster.

“MSM is likely to end with lower ad revenues than last year due to these factors. There are certain advertisers like Godrej who did not come on board this year since they didn’t have any launches. Surprisingly, the beverage segment is also very quiet this year. This year, however, a lot of new advertisers have come,” the source added.

Asked if the election ad spends on news channels was a challenge, Gupta replied in the negative.

“News channels ad rates are anyway very low. Brands will spend there during the elections but there is a limit to which the genre can hike its rates. The normal ad rate for them is anyway just around Rs 2,500 per 10 seconds. There is a limit to which this can be revised upwards,” he asserted.

He also dismisses competition from starsports.com which is live streaming the event to get ad revenue. “There is no comparison. They have done deals worth Rs 100 million and will end up with around Rs 150 million. Where is Rs 150 million and Rs 8 billion?” said an exasperated Gupta.

As reported earlier by TelevisionPost.com, the channel is targeting Rs 9 billion from this season. “We are on track to achieve our targets. We always keep back 15–20 per cent of our inventory for the final stages of the event which is what we normally do,” Gupta added.