IPL 2020 : Big Setback for IPL Broadcaster Star India, VIVO, Oppo, Real Me set to skip IPL 2020

The Indian Premier League (IPL 2020) broadcasters Star India is likely to lose few of the IPL 2019’s biggest on-air advertisers this year. After the exit of VIVO as title sponsor because of the prevailing anti-China sentiment in India, the other Chinese brands are all set to follow the same route and likely to stay away from the 13th edition of the league. This in turn will hurt Star India badly.

InsideSport has learnt from its sources that Chinese mobile handset companies VIVO, OPPO, Real Me, Xiaomi, Huawei, Lenovo will neither buy on-air advertising package on Star Sports Network nor will be present on the digital feed on Disney+ Hotstar as advertiser.

“The sentiment against the Chinese brands is very strong currently. We are advising our clients to stay away from any big ticket advertising. Be it IPL 2020 or any other big television property, it is unlikely Chinese brands will advertise in these circumstances”, said one of the large advertising agency involved in the media buying for the Chinese handphone client.

IPL 2020 : If Chinese companies stay away from IPL 2020, how will it impact the broadcaster Star India ?

If the Chinese companies stay away from IPL 2020, it will hit Star India big time. Both Vivo & Oppo were big advertisers with Star during IPL 2019. According to some estimates, both ended up spending in the range of 240 Cr with the broadcaster.
According to BARC ON-AIR advertising data (ADEX Report), both VIVO & OPPO last year were in top 10 advertisers list for IPL 2019.

‘Handset category is one of the biggest advertising category on IPL over the years. It will be tough for the broadcaster to replace them. But the good part is some more categories have opened up for them. Edtech companies this time are expected to be big advertising category along with the Consumer Durables as the IPL this year is coinciding with Diwali”, said Ashish Chadha, CEO of leading Sports Marketing Company Sporty Solutionz.

But Star’s troubles can increase manifolds if along with the mobile handset companies other companies with Chinese connect also decide to stay away from IPL 2020. Few other big advertisers on IPL over the years like PayTM, Swiggy, Zomato, Dream11 also are connected with the Chinese investments some way or the other. According to the media agencies, if these clients decide to skip IPL it will get difficult for the broadcaster to find able replacements.

Last year, in the 12th edition of the IPL, Star India had recorded a 20 percent jump in ad revenue to Rs 2,200 crore across the television and digital platforms from Rs 1,750 crore in 2018. This year, it looks like the broadcaster will struggle to come close to that number. A leading media planner said Star India is likely to clock somewhere between Rs 1,500 crore and Rs 1,700 crore as ad revenue, which is likely to be 20-30% less than last year’s Rs 2,100 crore plus ad revenue.

“Because the economy is down, a lot of advertising will go away. For many companies such as durables, festivities suit more than April-May. They are the biggest hope for IPL this year,’’ said another media planner.