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Why To Compare Daily Soaps With IPL Matches: Sneha Rajni

You can’t compare the 3 and half hour slot of IPL with just a half hour slot. Unfortunately public out there don’t understand the rating and its meaning.

Why To Compare Daily Soaps With IPL Matches: Sneha Rajni

Sneha Rajni Executive Vice President and Business Head – MAX

IPL-Season 3 is on its peak and its official broadcaster SETMAX is high on its success. got hold of Sneha Rajni, Executive Vice President and Business Head of MAX to know about the various unrevealed aspects of IPL. In this interview she speaks at length about the most interesting and glamorous sporting event of the subcontinent. Here are the excerpts from the interview:

Q) We’ve been hearing that SET Max could earn revenues of about Rs 1,000 crore this season. How soon are you expecting the break even? We do not comment on any financial numbers so I’ll have to say no comment on this. All I can say is we are well on target.

Q) In terms of TV ratings IPL performance has been phenomenal but this time viewers are missing Mandira Bedi from extra innings. How do you still justify the glamour in extra innings? Mandira Bedi was not part of the first IPL too which was the most phenomenal success. It has nothing to do with glamour or Mandira. She is very much part of the MAX and she would always be. If she is not here, that does not mean we are lacking anywhere in glamour. IPL itself is glamorous. And yes, the four anchors we have are extremely glamorous. So its very subjective, like I said, Mandira was not there even in season 1, so it’s not something new. She would always be the part of MAX family. In fact you must have seen her in studio also for quite a few times.

Q) You’ve broken all the previous trends which showed that only soap operas work in prime time. Is it a silent TV viewing revolution taking place which will change the viewership habits of audience in coming years? Well, that’s what we exactly achieved in season 1 and you are right. Absolutely it has been a revolution. That is accurately what we set out to do even before we launched the IPL. What does a revolution do? It disrupts the existing patterns and that’s what IPL did in season 1 and it continued to do that in season 2 and 3. People had also then said that this is the only first season which is phenomenal and things will curb off from season 2 onwards. But it has not happened. In fact in season 3 we have surpassed all previous records. So the lead is getting stronger. The popularity is getting stronger. The fan base is getting stronger. Everything about the IPL is getting stronger and stronger. Surely the revolution took place in April 2008 with start of the IPL.

Q) IPL’s unexpected success has been compared with EPL. This must have thrilled broadcasters like you in India. Obviously we are thrilled and ecstatic. EPL has been there for many decades and IPL is just 2 and half years old. And this is what we have achieved in such a short time. The results we have achieved in season 1 and building on in season 2 and 3 is absolutely mind blowing and we are extremely grateful to the people around the world for having accepted and loving it instantly.

Well as I say, you can’t replicate the pioneers. So even if there are the broadcasters who want to try the model we have, are welcome. We remain the pioneer and so far I can tell you no body has actually surpassed in terms of ratings that MAX delivers as far as cricket is concerned. MAX was conceived and launched as movies and cricket channel in 1999. So it was very much conceived like that. It was very well thought that we will have a channel only for cricket and movies.

Q) Star and Zee came together to combat the success of IPL? What’s your reaction on this? I must admit that I was very amused when I saw the advertisement this morning. Unfortunately public out there don’t understand the rating and its meaning. It’s all fine to say that rating of half hour show is higher than the IPL. People must realize that rating of IPL is that of a 3 and half hour show. The comparison could be between Bidai at 9 O’clock and 9-9:30 slot of an IPL match. You can’t compare the 3 and half hour slot with just a half hour slot. But generally speaking, I’m amused with the ad this morning.

Q) Advertisers are willing to shell out premium rates to take advantage of IPL’s extraordinary success; this must have started your cash bells ringing? If the advertisers are paying the premium rates for IPL, there must be a reason for it. And the reason is very simple that there is no single event in this country that will give the advertisers the kind of reach that IPL provides them. No other show at all on television ever has delivered these ratings. That is why the premium rates we ask for are very willingly paid for.

Q) So do the premium rates cross Rs. 15 lacs per 10 seconds for semis and final matches? Perhaps!

Q) Advertisers wait to come up with campaigns and new launches during IPL or perhaps we could say that IPL has fueled up the advertising industry in India. How is this trend fulfilling your expectations? It is actually extremely heartening to see that because that is exactly what happens in west. During the NFL, NBA and EPL, this is a common trend there. Advertisers actually launch the products or their brands or their new marketing campaigns around the EPL or Superboul or NFL. This is something which existed for many years and I’m glad that it has finally started taking place in this country too around the IPL! And that is the way it should be and that is the way it must be because as I said a little while ago, there is no other television property that gives the kind of concentrated maximum reach within such a short period of time, within 45 days like the IPL does. Needless to say that advertising pie has grown and thanks to the IPL for that.

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