Hotstar to double ad rates during IPL; gets Vivo, Maruti as co-sponsors

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Hotstar, STAR TV-owned leading video on demand platform, has roped in Vivo and Maruti Suzuki as co-presenting sponsors, for the upcoming 10th edition of Indian Premier League. Vivo is also the title sponsor of the league as well as one of the co-presenting sponsors on Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN), which holds the broadcast media rights of the popular T20 league. Hotstar’s parent company, Star India, owns the digital streaming rights of the property.

The value of both the deals, according to market sources, is believed to be Rs 20 crore each. Another Chinese Mobile brand Oppo, which earlier this week closed the Team India sponsorship deal at a whopping Rs 1079 crores, and computer technology firm Dell are also in the final stages of negotiations with Hotstar.

Hotstar, industry experts said, has increased the ad rates for the 10th season by almost 100%. While last year, Hotstar managed to clock Rs 65-70 crore in advertising revenues from IPL, they reckon this year the platform could make about Rs 120 crore, according to an Economic Times report.

The over-the-top (OTT) player had said last year that it had reached out to 100 million viewers via IPL; this season, it believes that over 130 million viewers will be watching the matches on the digital platform.

“We believe Hotstar will be the primary screen for Vivo IPL 2017 for the 130 million video streamers in the country,” said Ajit Mohan, CEO at Hotstar. “Marketers are recognising that these are audiences that are TV light or not present on television at all.” According to latest data shared by Star India, clips of short-form matches on Hotstar have regularly drawn upward of 20 million viewers.

“Earlier, people used to consume cricket on Hotstar because of its mobility. It was convenient to watch on the move but now, as they are experiencing the non-linear way of watching a match, they are selecting Hotstar as a preferred medium to watch,” said Mohan.

It is learnt that Hotstar has increased IPL ad rates by almost 100%. “Hotstar is showing very good growth year-on-year and this year it is expected to do even better. But they have also made the sponsorship very expensive,” said R Venkatasubramanian, senior VP at media agency Initiative Media India.

Another top executive of a digital media agency, who is in talks with Hotstar for signing of a deal for IPL, said it is the biggest platform for advertising, be it on-ground, on-air or on-digital and it commands a premium. “They have increased rates by 100%, still we are talking to them”.

Advertisers are open to spend as high as one-third of TV budgets on digital, which was unheard of earlier. Overall, Hotstar should be able to get between Rs 100 and 120 crore,” he said.

For Hotstar, IPL 9 had participation of 32 advertisers, including Hindustan Unilever, Nestle India, Vodafone and Amazon.

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