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MSM hikes IPL ad rates by 10–15%
MUMBAI: Indian Premier League (IPL) broadcaster rights-holder Multi Screen Media (MSM) is unperturbed by the presence of a high-stake event like the ICC Cricket World Cup, which is scheduled to be played in Australia and New Zealand.
With the two events happening back-to-back as in 2011, the stakes are higher for both Star India, which will broadcast the event in India, and MSM, to extract as much ad revenue as possible. While Star is already in the market to rope in advertisers for the event, MSM has also hit the market to woo advertisers.
MSM president ad sales, network and telephony Rohit Gupta said that the TV network has hiked its ad rates by 10–15 per cent for the IPL Season 8 as the ratings for the previous edition were good.
“We are looking at a 10–15 per cent hike in rates as the ratings last time around were good. The number of sponsors will more or less be the same as the last time. There will be two co-presenting sponsors and around seven to eight associate sponsors. There is no difference there. We are in the closing stages of negotiations with two to three clients,” Gupta told TelevisionPost.com.
Gupta says he is not worried about the competition from the cricket World Cup. “Last time the World Cup took place in India. India reached the final and it was Sachin’s last World Cup. I think that the impact of the cricket World Cup will be minimal on us this time.”
He points out to timings being a matter of concern for advertisers. “Some matches start as early as 3:30 am in New Zealand. Other matches start at 6:30 am. Nobody is going to get up so early especially for non-India games. Out of six India matches in the group stage, three are against weak opposition—Zimbabwe, UAE and Afghanistan.”
For Gupta, the IPL has the edge in terms of consistency in delivery. “Advertisers are assured of a 4 rating. With the circumstances surrounding the World Cup this time, I am not sure how it will fare. It will certainly be less than the 3.8 rating that the 2011 edition got.”
Gupta noted that this time Star Sports was available only on RIO (Reference Interconnect Offer) to cable networks and this could have an impact. He pointed out that Doordarshan would air the India games.
Dentsu Aegis Network chairman, CEO South Asia Ashish Bhasin is overly cautious about both tournaments. According to Bhasin, the performance of Team India will make or break the fortunes of Star, while as far as the IPL is concerned, a lot will depend on what course of action the Supreme Court takes against the two franchises, Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Super Kings.
“For the World Cup a lot depends on how India performs. If India does well, then interest among clients will grow. Timing matters less. If India reaches the last stages of the tournament, then people will get up early in the morning and watch matches. However, if India exits early, then interest will wane. This is what happened with the 2007 World Cup. Considering the market conditions, I think that the World Cup this time could make 10 per cent more compared to last time.”
Incidentally, four of India’s six matches in the league stage are on the weekends.
As far as the IPL is concerned, he said that the controversy is not helping matters. “We don’t know the direction it will take in terms of the clean-up. Two franchises have issues that need to be sorted out.”