NEW DELHI: When IPL 2020 began in September, there was a lot of speculation in the industry about its capability to churn out the spectacular revenues like every year. The sponsorship rates had gone down by as much as 25 per cent, and it was highly uncertain that the advertisers, who were still reeling from the financial disaster that Covid-2019 turned out to be, would be willing to spend the big bucks on advertising. However, broadcast partner Star was pretty positive that it would manage to surpass its previous year’s revenue records and clock sales of more than Rs 2000-crore that it managed to churn in 2019. And as it panned out, it was not just Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma who held the trophy aloft after an easy win against the Delhi Capitals in the finals last evening, but the broadcaster also had some big wins in its kitty.
The Media Ant Co-founder Samir Chaudhary stated that IPL 2020 turned out to be a big property for the broadcaster with viewership numbers attaining new highs in IPL 2020. His expectation is that Star will pocket higher revenues than in the previous season.
Havas Media Group India national head - buying R. Venkatasubramanian agreed, estimating the jump to be around 10-12 per cent (TV + digital) over last year.
“They sold most of the inventory well before the start of the tournament. As per my knowledge, they must have sold only three to five per cent inventory during the tournament and the sticker prices were 10-15 per cent more than what was offered initially,” pointed out Venkatasubramanian.
The initial rates ranged between 10 and 15 lakhs per 10 second, as Indiantelevision.com had reported earlier. There were five co-presenting sponsors for Dream11 IPL 2020 on Star Sports - Dream 11, Phone Pe, Amazon, Vodafone Idea and Byju’s; 13 associate sponsors: Mondelez, ITC Foods, Polycab, Diageo, P&G, Coca-cola, Hero, KP Group, Facebook, Daily Hunt, Samsung, Cred and AMFI. Beyond the live game - Byju’s was the sponsor for the pre-and-post-game live show - Byju’s Cricket Live.
The categories of advertisers included BFSI, edtech, online gaming, online shopping, home décor, mobile handsets, consumer durables, FMCG, auto, apparel amongst others. Internet and digital-based business like fantasy sports, edtech, e-commerce, and online gaming, also got good traction.
As confirmed by a Star Sports spokesperson, IPL 2020 had 18 sponsors and a total of 110 advertisers on board, which is the highest number of partners and advertisers in the history of the IPL, since it began in 2008. Most of the inventory was sold in advance.
IPL 2020 performed exceptionally well in terms of viewership as well. As per BARC data, for television, IPL 2020 has seen an increased engagement and affinity, reflected through the higher number of games watched. IPL 2019 had 326 billion minutes consumption. That mark had been surpassed in this year’s IPL when just 50 out of the 60 games had been played.
Additionally, the season recorded the most games watched by an average viewer for any 60-game IPL season and the highest engagement for any IPL ever on the back of regionalisation with Hindi and southern language feeds (Telugu, Tamil and Kannada).
“The viewership has increased 18-19 per cent compared to last year (till the sixth week of the tournament) and mostly IPL 2020 will finish with 15-18 per cent higher viewership compared to IPL 2019,” Venkatasubramanian highlighted.
That will be more power to the game of cricket. And the love that its fans give it.