Hit­ting the Jack­pot!

IPL 11 gives Star In­dia more view­er­ship.

The Brand Reporter - - EDITORIAL - By Su­raj Ram­nath su­raj.ram­nath@afaqs.com

When Star In­dia won the broad­cast­ing and dig­i­tal rights for the In­dian Premier League in 2017 for a whop­ping `16,347.50 crore, it meant that the broad­caster had to pay `54.5 crore per match to BCCI. Back then the ques­tion was - how will Star In­dia make a re­turn on that in­vest­ment?

If one thinks about the re­call of IPL ads, peo­ple would talk about ads made by Sony En­ter­tain­ment Tele­vi­sion such as - ‘Car­ni­val ad’, ‘Dil Jump­ing Ja­pang’ or ‘Pista song’ where the broad­caster had pack­aged the league as en­ter­tain­ment as op­posed to sports. Whereas when Star In­dia launched its ‘Best vs Best’ cam­paign in March this year, it was quite ev­i­dent that the broad­caster wanted to re-pack­age IPL and wanted peo­ple to see it more like a sport than en­ter­tain­ment. But in terms of ad re­call for IPL 11, only time will tell if fans will re­mem­ber the ads made.

Ac­cord­ing to a se­nior me­dia plan­ner, the broad­caster has earned around `1,600-1,800 crore from ad rev­enues. In­dus­try sources in­di­cate that Star In­dia earned close to `600 crore from dis­tri­bu­tion and in­ter­na­tional dig­i­tal stream­ing rights would have also have earned the broad­caster close to `600 crore, mak­ing it to­tal rev­enue of close to `2,800-3,000 crore.

Star In­dia man­aged to sell their ad in­ven­to­ries at an av­er­age of `10 lakh per 10 sec­onds. With IPL 11 done and dusted and with the ratings pro­vided by BARC In­dia, it is ev­i­dent that Star In­dia has suc­ceeded in achiev­ing an over­all growth of 15 per cent in to­tal view­er­ship for this edi­tion of the com­pe­ti­tion com­pared to that of Sony Max and Six. IPL 11 (60 matches) gar­nered 1.4 bil­lion im­pres­sions, 15 per cent more than IPL 10 which gar­nered 1.2 bil­lion im­pres­sions. Bar­ring the fi­nals, the broad­caster aired IPL on Star Sports 1 (SD+HD), Star Sports 1 Hindi (SD+HD), Star Sports 1 Tamil, and Star Sports Se­lect 1 (SD+ HD). For the fi­nals, the broad­caster roped in its GEC and movie chan­nels as well - Star Su­varna Plus, Star Maa Movies, Asianet Movies, Star Plus (SD+HD), Star Gold (SD+HD), Star Pravah, and Jal­sha Movies. The ratings for the fi­nals in­clude that of DD Sports as well.

The fi­nal match be­tween Chen­nai Su­per Kings and Sun­ris­ers Hy­der­abad gar­nered 55.6 mil­lion im­pres­sions. This is up 41 per cent from IPL 10’s fi­nal that was be­tween Mum­bai Indians and Ris­ing Pune Su­per­giants, which gar­nered 39.4 mil­lion im­pres­sions.

Ac­cord­ing to BARC, IPL 11 saw growth of re­gional lan­guage view­er­ship as well. Hindi lan­guage con­trib­uted to 54 per cent of view­er­ship fol­lowed by English at 24 per cent and re­gional at 22 per cent.

But ac­cord­ing to Di­nesh Rathore, chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer, Madison Me­dia Omega, Star In­dia shouldn’t take or be given the en­tire credit for the 15 per cent in­crease in the over­all reach. “Based on one fi­nal’s ratings, we can’t ex­pect the ad rates to go up. Had the en­tire tour­na­ment de­liv­ered some­thing like this, it would be dif­fer­ent. For the rates that Star In­dia was sell­ing in­ven­to­ries and the reach num­bers of the fi­nal match be­ing so good, that can’t be the bench­mark.”

He adds that chang­ing the pack­ag­ing of IPL from en­ter­tain­ment to a pure sports prop­erty was not the right way to go. “Star failed to cre­ate any new­ness com­pared to other sea­sons. This was the most com­pet­i­tive IPL so that, as well as the comeback of CSK, has ac­tu­ally brought in the view­er­ship. But I don’t want to take away any credit from Star, but next year, they will need to pack­age the prop­erty in a bet­ter way”, he adds.

Deepak Ne­tram, se­nior vice pres­i­dent, Lodestar UM, says, “I think it is not just about the reach but mak­ing IPL a stronger and big­ger prop­erty. Yes, the ad­di­tional au­di­ence num­bers achieved do add on and re­ally work, but as a net­work, Star put their full might into IPL and that was great.”

Ac­cord­ing to Ne­tram, CSK’s comeback was some­thing to look for­ward to, but not the sole rea­son for the ratings achieved by the broad­caster. “Ul­ti­mately, the prop­erty has also been es­tab­lished based on what broad­cast net­works and their cov­er­age pro­vide. CSK’s come back was a big high, but I think it’s more about the way the prop­erty is and the im­pact it cre­ates. There are on-go­ing sur­prise el­e­ments that con­tinue to keep up the mo­men­tum and peaks in view­er­ship. Like ev­ery year, there are ex­cit­ing nail-biter fin­ishes or big-hit­ters in the se­ries. Even un­der­dog teams have made the sea­son in­ter­est­ing. It man­ages to cre­ate greater ex­cite­ment to­wards the play­offs and the fi­nale, al­most ev­ery year,” he adds.

Ne­tram be­lieves that IPL 11 con­tin­ued to be as en­ter­tain­ing as it was, if not more. He says, “Star has added more flavour to the prop­erty and its pack­ag­ing. Ul­ti­mately, it is the con­tent that drives au­di­ences and that, by and large, is what works. Get­ting the fi­nale on with all net­work chan­nels did cre­ate the big boost. I don’t think there is any change in terms of the con­tent be­com­ing se­ri­ous from en­ter­tain­ing. Sev­eral new el­e­ments were in­tro­duced, in fact, they made it en­ter­tain­ing and en­gag­ing.” ■

“I don’t want to take away any credit from Star, but next year, they will need to pack­age the prop­erty in a bet­ter way.” DI­NESH RATHORE

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