IPL fails to gain ad-vantage
The $3.8-billion behemoth called Indian Premier League (IPL) is ready to roll all over again but not everyone is excited about the Twenty20 extravaganza. Initial indications are that there has been a lukewarm response from the market. Multi Screen Media (MSM), which broadcasts the league through Set Max, is reportedly finding it difficult to rope in brands.
Industry watchers say that by this time MSM, the owners of Set Max channel, should have roped in at least a dozen sponsors but it is apparently struggling to reach the half-a-dozen mark. The tournament is less than a week away, but the market has been watchful. Industry sources say Max is coping with the problem of volume and rates. It is believed to have had a gross turnover of Rs900 crore from the fourth season but it might have to be content with at least 30-40 per cent less in the IPL V.
A slew of reasons are being cited for the low-key response from the corporate world. A slump in ratings is the first. The IPL had suffered 25-30 per cent loss in viewership last year, thanks to the fatigue caused by the 45-day-long World Cup which preceded the tournament. With TRPs being the watchword for advertisements and their rates, Max is believed to be struggling to attract advertisers as the ratings have taken a beating. On an average, the company charges Rs4 lakh for a 10-second slot.
The continued slowdown in the economy is also not helping the IPL’s cause. The automobile, insurance and real estate sectors are still not out of the woods and it surely has had an impact on the advertisement budget of the companies in this sector. Then, there was also the Asia Cup which ate into a part of the money put in the sports advertisement basket.
However, managers at Max are confident of turning things around. “We’ve had problems initially to convince the advertisers but it is no longer a problem. We’re slowly getting into the groove. The build-up has been quite good and we’ll be fine by the time the tournament kicks off,” said MSM president Rohit Gupta. “We’ve had an emotionally draining World Cup last year and it had led to fatigue. But I’m sure this year we’ll regain the ratings that are generally associated with the league,” Gupta added. He said he would be happy to sign six to seven companies during the 76-match tournament.
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