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Cricket passion high, yet IPL ad rates remain unchanged

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In Short:

Star Sports and Jio expected higher ad rates for IPL, but they remained the same. Broadcasters are hesitant due to the upcoming T20 World Cup and general economic slowdown. Auto companies have paused advertising, but some established brands are showing interest. Digital advertising and connected TVs are gaining popularity. IPL ad spending on digital platforms grew by 25% in 2023.


Ad Rates Unmoved for Star Sports and Jio

The hopes of Star Sports and Jio for increased ad rates have not materialized, as media buyers confirm that they remain unchanged. Sponsors are expected to pay ₹12.5 lakh per 10 seconds on SD and ₹5.3 lakh on HD for Star Sports. For Jio Cinema, pre and post-match ceremonies will cost ₹200 per mile or 1,000 impressions. On connected TV, a spot will cost ₹6.5 lakh, with rates remaining the same as last time.

Challenges Faced in IPL Advertising

Hema Malik, from IPG Media Brands, notes a slow uptake in ad spend for this year’s IPL compared to previous editions. Many advertisers had already spent on the ICC Men’s ODI Cricket World Cup and have their eyes set on the T20 World Cup later this year in the US. Broadcasters had aimed for a double-digit rate increase due to inflation, but negotiations have not yielded those results.

Shift in Advertiser Focus

Auto companies, e-commerce brands, telecom, and fintech companies have not yet ramped up advertising for the IPL. However, established brands are showing interest, with connected TVs and digital advertising gaining traction, according to Aditya R. Kanthy from DDB Mudra. External factors like the general elections are not expected to disrupt viewership, and new sponsors are joining in.

Brand Participation and Consistency

Star Sports has already signed 15 brands, including recognizable names like Dream11, Asian Paints, and Vimal. Traditional strong categories like cola continue to be prominent advertisers, with a mix of TV and digital strategies. Mondelez and Coca-Cola will maintain their presence, while new brands are exploring digital sponsorship opportunities.

Continued Digital Growth

GroupM ESP reports a 25% growth in ad spending on IPL’s digital platforms in 2023, expected to continue in 2024. Total spending on cricket advertising in India reached ₹7,074 crore in 2023. Despite this, combined ad revenue for Star and Jio dropped in 2023, with Star receiving the majority.

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