Fence-Sitters To Rescue Indian Premier League Broadcaster Multi Screen Media
Elections "have delayed advertisers from getting on board" the Indian Premier League, according to Masoom Gupte of the Indian BUSINESS STANDARD. Elections have not only edged the event out of the country, but have "dictated its relevance for advertisers so far." With many of them staying away till now, the official broadcaster, Multi Screen Media, "would now have to bank on the fence-sitters going for costly spot buys." Media buyers "expect the tournament to clock" around Rs 600 crore ($99M) (much less than last year's Rs 800 crore), while MSM expects to make Rs 900 crore ($148M). Media agency MEC Managing Dir T. Gangadhar said, "The two events are disparate, serve different purposes. Advertising during an election is a tactical, opportunistic decision. IPL advertising is more strategic in nature, requiring a much bigger monetary commitment." Spot rates (for 10 seconds) are hovering between Rs 4.75-5 lakh ($7,800-$82,00). As the season progresses, "the rates may climb up." However, there is one major trend that is evident -- "e-commerce players' growing appetite for mass media reach." Two of the players have IPL-centric campaigns, "apart from sponsors such as Pepsi and Vodafone." Shashank Mehrotra, GM of BigRock, a domain registrar and first-time IPL advertiser, "is one of the few to have launched an IPL-centric media plan." Mehrotra: "While chalking out the media plan we did discuss all the permutations and combinations, keeping in mind the two events. But decided to go with IPL simply because of a better target audience match." Sponsors have usually contributed 50% to IPL's ad revenues, "the rest being spot buys." But the Lok Sabha elections "could tip the balance in favor of spot buys," even though each may cost a lakh ($1,600) more than the same unit of sponsored air-time (BUSINESS STANDARD, 4/21).