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Bigg Boss vs cricket: What's the winning proposition for advertisers?

The 15th season of the popular reality show will not only clash with IPL but also with the T20 Cricket World Cup. Can the Salman Khan-starrer show deliver a better proposition for advertisers? does a deep dive

Bigg Boss, arguably one of the most successful shows on Indian TV, is all set to clash with two of the biggest sports events in the country—the Indian Premier League and T20 Cricket World Cup.

All three properties are vying for the attention of both viewers and advertisers. But given that cricket is nothing short of a religion in India, can the Salman Khan-starrer reality show stand its ground?

Industry leaders and some of the top advertisers say that despite the clash with IPL and T20 World Cup, Colors has been able to command a good ad rate for its marque property, Bigg Boss.

According to top television advertisers, the channel will be able to command ad rates similar to last year. “Their demand for weekends hovers around Rs 3 lakh per 10 seconds, which is almost double of the weekday rates. The spots closer to the finale are far more costly,” an advertiser told

According to another advertiser associated with Bigg Boss, the sponsorship rate has gone up to Rs 40-50 crore.

He said when they had taken up an association as a critical sponsor at Rs 30 crore, with 90 seconds per episode spread across 100 plus episodes and repeats they were getting 1.4x returns at that time. Considering the show’s hype, it has improved in recent times. had earlier reported that Bigg Boss gives a  3X to 5X ROI in terms of media value.

Another leading advertiser said the cost per episode for a co-presenting sponsor is Rs 30 lakh. Last year, there were 109 episodes but this time there could be close to 142 episodes.

Bigg Boss still an ideal proposition

The show is almost a Rs 500-crore property that the channel looks to recover from advertisers and sponsors. There is one title sponsor, two co-presenting, some powered by and 8-10 associated sponsors. In the last season, the show had 15 sponsors from across categories.

“A title sponsor would be paying almost 20-22%, co-presenting will be paying 30%, co-powered would jointly be paying about 20-30%. 15-20% of the outlay would come from your associates. Then you have some inventory left for spot buys,” explained an expert.

“The demand is coming back and since it’s a festive period, everybody needs some kind of impact. So there's optimism that can work in the favour of the show,” he explained.

R. Venkatasubramanian

R. Venkatasubramanian, President and National Head, Investments, Havas Media Group India, said he expects Bigg Boss to generate Rs 275-300 crore as revenue. “The channel has received a great response on Voot, and they’ve already signed multiple sponsors for the on-air property. Almost all clients and brands are currently active and looking to be part of big-impact properties and the likes of Bigg Boss to create and amplify brand awareness,” he stated.

“Even though the channel might not have generated the desired profits in a pandemic-struck year, it went ahead with the schedule of its much-awaited reality show with celebrity-host Salman Khan for its audience and a loyal fan-base,” he added.

Krishnarao Buddha

According to Krishnarao Buddha, Senior Category Head, Marketing, Parle Products, no channel can afford to have something against IPL but as it is the festive time, a brand that does not have a presence on IPL can go to GECs. "An option like Bigg Boss is great for many brands."

Asked about the prospects on digital, an advertiser said, “There are advertisers who want to be associated with Bigg Boss, they want to be seen on a Salman Khan show at the end of the day. There are instances where an advertiser would not be able to afford TV but he will be able to afford Voot. So you will always find advertisers for these things.”

The last four months of this year are full of big-ticket event properties on TV.

"If you look at this year, you have IPL, which is active, World Cup coming soon. Quite a few marquee properties such as Kaun Banega Crorepati and The Kapil Sharma Show are on. In fact, Colors itself announced Big Picture with Ranveer Singh. Its ticket size is similar to Bigg Boss. So advertisers have a lot of options," said another marketer.

Venkatasubramanian said, “Some clients would like to associate with Bigg Boss and some with IPL. Monies will be distributed between cricket and other GEC properties. The important thing is that the overall advertising spends are expected to grow at least 20-25% than last year.”

Advertisers seek more brand integration in Bigg Boss

A leading advertiser said Colors should offer more opportunities to brands to integrate themselves in the show.

“If you look at the overall offering, the integration opportunities are not that great. A presenting sponsor gets at the best three-four integrations in the entire season. So technically, if the show's going to go on for 13 or 14 weeks, you are getting three weeks,” he said.

“Look at it from a marketer’s point of view, you hear about the host being paid Rs 350 crore for an entire season wherein he is going to come only over a weekend. So effectively in a 13 or 14-week window, you have 28 occasions with the main anchor being present,” he said.

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