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ICC World Cup ad rates touch all-time high; Disney Star set to make up for IPL shortfall

According to India’s top advertisers, the festive season in India, coupled with Disney Star holding the TV and digital rights, propels ad rates higher

Disney Star is all set to make up for its losses during IPL as it is likely to earn bumper ad revenue during the ICC World Cup in October coinciding with the festive season.

India’s top advertisers told BestMediaInfo.com that they expect the upcoming extravaganza to reach over 650 million viewers and barring a few categories of advertisers, most of them will loosen the purse strings considering festivities.

The asking ad rates are 30-40% higher than the previous World Cup taking the spot buying to Rs 30 lakh per 10 seconds.

Despite being lower than the average inflation observed in cricket pricing over the past few years, this increase is attributed to several factors.

The ratings for cricket, particularly One Day Internationals (ODIs), have risen by nearly 50% in the last year, and the tournament taking place in India adds to the appeal.

Additionally, the festive season in India, coupled with Disney Star holding both the TV and digital rights, has propelled ad rates higher.

Insights into ICC Men's World Cup ad rates

According to industry sources, for sponsors the average ad rates range from Rs 8 to Rs 10 lakhs per 10 seconds. However, for spot buys, the rates can go higher, ranging between Rs 20 to Rs 30 lakhs per 10 seconds, depending on the selection of matches.

For the co-presenting sponsors, the rates being floated are in the range of about Rs 120 crores for 240 seconds MCB (midroll commercial break) per match, industry sources stated.

“Suppose an advertiser wants to advertise only in India-centric matches. If you want to pick and choose, then the quoted cost is going three times. It's going to be about Rs 30 lakhs per 10 seconds,” sources added.

Rammohan Sundaram

According to Rammohan Sundaram, President - Integrated Media, DDB Mudra Group, "Current ad rates are the first cut that has been floated by Disney Star and it ranges anywhere between Rs 25 to Rs 30 lakh per 10 seconds depending on what you are buying.”

“When we actually get into buying, things will be a lot more different however, if any brand wants to be present on all matches across the world for a meaningful outcome it will need nothing less than Rs 75 - Rs 80 crore. But there are a lot of other options and we are pretty gung-ho about the ICC Men’s World Cup,” Sundaram added.

Jump in ad rates for ICC World Cup 2023

Shashank Srivastava

According to Shashank Srivastava, Senior Executive Director, Marketing and Sales, Maruti Suzuki, in comparison to previous editions of the ICC Men's World Cup, the ad rates have witnessed an increase of approximately 12% to 17% over a 4-year period, which is lower than the average inflation observed in cricket pricing over the last few years.

 “Further, the ratings for cricket, specifically ODIs, are up by nearly 50% in the last year and this World Cup is taking place in India hence, the rates seem in line,” he added.

Hema Malik

Hema Malik, Chief Investment Officer, IPG Mediabrands India, said that as compared to previous editions of the ICC Men's World Cup, ad rates have increased significantly.

"By all logic, the ask this time was ambitious which was rationalised but there is still a significant growth in the rates. It is a good 30% to 40% expectation in its price increase," she added.

BK Rao

According to BK Rao, Senior Category Head at Parle Products, “It looks like it is a higher increase, upwards of about more than 20% or so, considering that last year the cost was lower.”

Sundaram said that it’s the festive season in India when the tournament is taking place. Secondly, it is happening in India and thirdly Disney Star has both TV and digital rights for the event. These three reasons in that order naturally propel the ad rates up given festive time is when maximum adex is witnessed in India.

“When such a major event is happening around in India, there will be a lot more reach that is expected out of the event. I am quite sure that the distribution strategy will also be to open up FTA channels in the bouquet to get higher penetration,” he said.

“When you look at all these factors plus the digital connect where Disney Star has declared that they will be airing it free on Hotstar, there is a huge boost that is being planned for massive combined reach which naturally will bring in more viewership,” he added.

New offerings by Dinsey Star for advertisers

During the ICC Men's World Cup, Disney Star will introduce several new offerings for advertisers and brands to enhance their reach and impact. Firstly, they have added additional channels in Hi-Definition across Tamil and Telugu feeds. Moreover, Star has deepened the integration of technology in the broadcast, Srivastava of Maruti said.

“Brands now have the opportunity for deeper integrations, allowing them to effectively convey their brand proposition in a more seamless and impactful way. Additionally, Star Sports’ social media, with its follower base of nearly 29 million, has been included in the offering, providing brands with multiple engagement options and assured reach. Lastly, Star has expanded its roster of expert commentators across all feeds, including English, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, and Kannada,” he added.

On the other hand, Sundaram said that nothing radically new has come up and it’s pretty much similar to what every one has seen like Super Fours, Sixes, Action Replay, and pre and post-show analysis.

"The format on television, beyond a point, has not changed. Categories like Fintech, Edtech, gaming, crypto and pharma have got impacted and I don't see that they will be as big contributors as they have been in previous cricketing events. So, the whole objective by Disney Star is to max out the overall count of clients and scaling investments," Malik said.

She went on to say that Disney Star is eyeing to get as many clients as possible, which are not regular clients. From that perspective, they have worked out solutions which are inviting new-age clients. The tournament is taking place during the peak festive period in India so that is the time when all dormant categories get active."

Factors driving audience reach and engagement

According to Srivastava, the targeting reach is projected to be around 650 million throughout the World Cup duration, which is approximately 20% higher compared to the previous edition.

“Cricket viewership is on the rise as seen over the last few months across multiple events: IPL 2023 witnessed a 23% increase, bilateral T20s saw a 48% rise and bilateral ODIs experienced a 63% surge in viewership. Cricket's reach is 3-4 times higher than that of the top general entertainment channel (GEC) shows, reaching a larger audience at 4x faster speed. It is the only property that boasts a pan-India reach across all target groups,” he added.

Sundaram said, “I am quite sure it will be the biggest ever world cup in terms of viewership and all records will be broken on both TV and digital for the India – Pakistan match in Ahmedabad.”

When asked about his overall analysis regarding the Men's ICC World Cup series, Srivastava stated that the World Cup on Indian soil is an unmissable opportunity to be a part of team India’s World Cup journey.

“It will be the single biggest event in the country around the upcoming festive season, where everyone will be discussing the World Cup and team India. Team India has been doing well, winning seven out of the last eight ODI series at home since the last World Cup. With this World Cup being possibly the last one for Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli, it will be a great spectacle to watch out for,” said Srivastava.

Boosting factors for advertisers

While explaining what is actually boosting advertisers’ interest, Rao said, "I think the fact that the World Cup is being played in India is a big booster for advertisers. Secondly, it is the festive season, which is for some selective advertisers. Maybe the beverages companies might not participate but the durables and automobiles companies will be at the top to advertise during the tournament. So, the timing is also going to be a boosting factor for some advertisers."

Sundaram said that it’s very early days and currently advertisers are tight-lipped given the kind of pricing one has seen.

“So, it will be a wait-and-watch scenario up until the second week of September when things will really heat up, currently there are only speculations,” he added.

"IPL performance on TV is a big booster not only for cricket but the overall TV industry. Though IPL had its own losses on TV because inventory went unsold, the World Cup will make up for it," Malik said.

Malik believes that IPL has boosted clients' confidence back in TV. Moreover, the last year has been extremely good for cricket on TV. Additionally, the tournament is taking place during the festive period


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