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Knocked-off? “No option” for brands to buy last-minute ad inventories for finals this IPL season

In regular days, the broadcasters earned more than 50% premium during knock-off matches over the existing ad rates for the cricket tournament

Were you sitting on the fence, waiting to hit a six for your brand by advertising in the knock-off matches this IPL season? You may have to be disappointed. There is almost “nil” ad inventory left for last-minute buying this time around.

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In a usual environment, Star India reserves some of ad inventories in the knock-off matches, which are then sold at a higher price. 

While the Star Sports spokesperson could not be available for comment at the time of publishing this story, a top media planner said, “The 2020 IPL edition managed to brave through the sluggish economy due to the pandemic and sell out its sponsorship slate. This time, more than 95% of the inventory was sold before the tournament could even begin.”

“99% of the inventory has been sold this time. Clients have brought inventories for the full tournament. I doubt there will be any inventory left at all. Everyone was scared this time, so they sold most of it,” the planner added.

Does this mean Star India would miss the opportunity to earn a premium for the knock-off matches?

A senior media observer said it must be Star’s cautious strategy. “Things were so uncertain this time around that no one could have guaranteed anything towards the end of the tournament. Had they kept inventories for last-minute selling, it could have turned other way round too. I am not surprised if they have filled 100% slots in advance.”

“But if you look at the economy that is reviving gradually with advertising sentiment at a high across genres, you can say that IPL may be missing out on the opportunity to sell the knock-off inventory at a higher price for the festive period. Categories such as soft drinks, which were earlier affected by the pandemic conditions, have now returned and will miss out on the tournament,” said the observer. had earlier reported that a 10-second slot rate was priced at Rs 12 Lakh by Star India. The rate for the same slot was between Rs 8 and Rs 10 lakh in the last tournament. The title sponsorship deal has also been offered at a discounted rate.

In regular days, the broadcasters earned more than 50% premium for knock-off matches over the existing ad rates for the tournament.

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