Brands advertising on television during this year’s Indian Premier League (IPL) have started sending queries to their agencies and broadcasters pointing toward the falling viewership of the tournament. When the viewership dipped in the first week brands weren’t that worried, but when it further dipped in the second week they became anxious and have started raising their concerns with Disney Star.
According to BARC data, in the first week, TV ratings had fallen by 38%, 33% and 32% in the age group 15-21, 22-30, 31-40 against last year’s March-April data. The second week’s ratings slipped further by 40% in the 15-20 age group and by 38% in the other two age groups in comparison to last year’s March-April data.
Poulomi Roy, Chief Marketing Officer, RSH Global, said, “There are concerns around the kind of numbers IPL delivers this time. Such a dip right at the beginning of the tournament has never happened historically. This year, as the television media rights are up for bidding, the GRPs are extremely crucial to also decide on the valuation of the entire property.”
The advertisers are already in talks with their agencies and Star Sports for “make good” of the shortfall in the GRPs, a media strategist told BestMediaInfo.com under the condition of anonymity.
A senior media planner told BestMediaInfo.com that many clients have started showing concerns about the dip in viewership. The planner said, “Anyone who has invested money is worried. Usually, in the first 15-20 days of the match, the ratings are very high and then it starts declining. The viewership finally picks up during the semi-finals and finals. This time, the ratings have dipped in the beginning only. Hence, clients are worried.”
V Sudarshan, CEO of Techlutions, stated that advertisers ought to be worried because the stakes are very high as most of the brands end up spending 50-60% of their annual budgets on IPL itself.
This year, brands including Tata Corporate, Cred, Dream11, Byju’s, Asian Paints, Kamla Pasand, Swiggy Instamart, PhonePe, Meesho, White Hat Jr, Pepsi, Spotify and Mondelez took sponsorship on Star Sports. Over and above the sponsorships, several other brands opted for spot buying.
This year, Star Sports hiked the ad rates by 10% from the previous year. Tata shelled out between Rs 190-200 crore. The other Co-presenting sponsors approximately spent Rs 160 crore on sponsorships. The Associate Sponsors spent in the range of Rs 90-105 crore on sponsorship. For spot buying, brands have been shelling out Rs 16.5 lakh per 10-second on Star Sports.
Star garnered Rs 3,200 crore in advertising revenues from IPL 2021. This year, the official broadcast partner of IPL is eyeing Rs 4,000 crore advertising revenue mark.
In the end, advertisers are of the opinion that one must wait and watch for another week and 20 days to even announce a diktat on IPL’s fate. A source commented, “Which is why you are not hearing of people pulling out or taking any drastic measures as of yet.”