Star Sports is out in the market with an aggressive pitch to sell Indian Premier League broadcast sponsorships. The broadcaster is seeking up to 100% more money over the last year’s price tag for the same properties. The sponsorship packages last year were only for live broadcast, Star’s pitch for IPL 2018 also includes digital platform Hotstar. That is the main added advantage for brands.
Star Sports has prepared a joint pitch for all its broadcast platforms. The buyers as of now are not given the option to buy the inventory on the broadcast platform of their choice.
SPONSORSHIP SALES NUMBERS
The premium co-sponsor category, where Stars is expecting an association with up to three brands, is priced at ₹150 crore. Sony last year had closed the same category in the range of ₹72 crore.
The associate sponsorship is collectively priced at of ₹80 crore for the nine broadcast channels that will air IPL in six different languages and Hotstar. Sony for IPL 10 had sold the associate category in the range of ₹42 crore for IPL broadcast on a total of five channels.
STAR’S SALES PITCH
Will this huge investment have a value for money for the brands? Star Sports has made a lucrative pitch that assures a TVR of 5 for the IPL broadcast as against 4.1 recorded by the then broadcaster last year. For live streaming on Hotstar, the broadcaster is pitching a targeted growth of around 65% – from 110 million last year to 180 million now.
The other attractions include an early start for the evening matches. Instead of the earlier practice of having evening games from 8 pm to 11:30 pm, Star has persuaded the Board of Control for Cricket in India and the IPL governance to play the games between 7 pm and 10.30 pm to capitalize on the prime-time ratings.
The viewers on the go too will get to see live action, unlike a five-minute delay in the past. The move makes sponsors’ investment on Hotstar more lucrative.
Sony last year had broadcast IPL on five channels, including the HD. Star this will have a wider reach with nine broadcast platforms with regional language programming in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, and Bangla in addition to Hindi and English.
“Higher TVR not necessarily means higher traction for brands. The brands last year have got a 60% reach over the 4.1 TVR. Actual numbers’ for brands total reach won’t change much even if TVR goes up to 5,” one of India’s top cricket inventory buyer told insidesport.co. “However, the brands will still evaluate it (the IPL) for impact, disruption and no relevant option at that period,” the seasoned ad buyer added.
Star India had earlier this year altered the sales structure. Two vice-presidents, Atul Gandhi and Vaibhav Goyal, were named to head the team of six to eight managers for IPL sales. The broadcaster, which has acquired IPL’s global media rights for an awe-inspiring ₹16,347.50 crore, is targeting ₹1,800 crore in ad sales from the 11th edition of the IPL.
Sony Pictures Network was the host broadcaster for IPL for the 10 seasons so far.