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Smartphones ads on India cricket matches halved in two years, says BARC India

Perfume outpaced phone ads in 2018 as smartphones and telecom ads decreased from 24% in 2016 to 11% in 2018

From 2016 to 2018, what changed in advertising on cricket matches? Perfumes/Deodorant ads toppled Cellular Phones ads in 2018 while the later was the leading category spending on cricket in both 2016 and 2017, as revealed by BARC India in its latest Think Newsletter dedicated to cricket and overall sports broadcasting in India.

As the number of sports channels went up from 19 to 29 in two years, there was 14% growth in ads across all cricket content from 2016 to 2018. This growth rate was faster on live cricket.

Ads in India Matches have witnessed 18% and 17% growth in 2017 and 2018 respectively. e-commerce has emerged as the dominant sector with share of ads going up from 14% in 2016 to 42% in 2018. Smartphones and telecom ads have decreased from 24% in 2016 to 11% in 2018.

BARC India revealed the data for advertising on IPL 2019 wherein 246 brands from 95 categories were advertised in this period. 158 brands were advertised on live as well as match highlights. Top 10 categories contributed to 52% of the ads telecast. Services led by ecommerce brands has made a comeback as the top sector this season with 24% ads. Smartphones ads by 5 advertisers clocked 14.2% of all ads and emerges as the top category this IPL season followed by Auto-Cars with 5.7% of ads.

According to the report, sports viewership year-on-year has gone up in the 2016 to 2018 period. From 43 Bn impressions in 2016 the viewership has gone up to 51 Bn impressions, growing at a CAGR of 9%. Though other sports like Kabaddi, Wrestling, Football are gaining popularity within the Indian audiences, Cricket is the jewel in the sports viewership crown with upwards of 65% of viewership contribution year-on-year. Details in the figure below.

Interestingly, the footprint of cricket is not just restricted to sports channels and goes well beyond them. Overall, there is 25% growth of cricket viewership in 2018 over 2016, for the same period, cricket viewership on sports channels grew by 79%.

The dynamics of live cricket on Non–sports channels has seen a change from 2018. The drop in non- sports channels viewership for cricket content in 2018 can be attributed to majority of IPL-12 telecast moving to channels in the Sports genre.

The last 3 years have seen a steady increase in cricket content on sports channels. Apart from international cricket matches to the national favourite IPL, viewers today have a wide array of choice. From domestic competitions like the Ranji Trophy, the Duleep Trophy, the Vijaya Hazare Trophy etc to International T20 Leagues like Big Bash League, Mzansi Super League, Pakistan Super League etc to popular celebrity leagues we can see it all on the small screen.

Cricket content on television is approaching the 1 lakh hour mark annually, with 89000 hours being clocked in 2018. Non–sports channels carried 4700 hours of cricket content in 2016 and upwards of 5400 hours in 2018. Some news channels have the same cricket program titles running over last 3 years.

The key highlights of the report:

- 93% of all sport viewers in 2018 watched cricket content

- It clocked 12.3 Bn impressions in 2018 despite the absence of international tournaments in the year

- The top 2 most watched ODI matches between 2016-2018 were played between India & Pakistan

- Women’s cricket viewership albeit lower than their counterparts displayed signs of growth year on year

- Women’s World Cup final between India and England had a viewership of 39 Mn impressions

- With over 89000 hours, cricket programming is up by 79% in 2018 over 2016

- Viewership dominated by T20 matches in 2016

- Viewership dominated by One Days in 2017

- 50% of IPL viewers are less than 30 years of age

- IPL in 2019 clocked in 1.53 Bn impressions minus the final match viewership

- 14% growth in ads across all cricket content from 2016 to 2018

- E-Commerce has emerged as dominant sector with share of ads going up from 14% in 2016 to 42% in 2018

- Domestic cricket is growing on the back of T20 matches as T20 format dominates viewership

- Youth (15-30-year olds) still dominate cricket viewership with 35% of live cricket viewership coming from this audience

- Cricket hungry viewers are lapping up other cricket content like Women’s cricket, domestic T20, International T20 leagues

- Ranking of top advertise categories change over the years although high involvement campaigns are the norm

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