Television

Star Sports-Sony spar over World Cup, IPL performances

https://indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/smartcrop_800x800/public/images/tv-images/2015/03/19/star%20msm.jpg?itok=RuVD-MDl

MUMBAI: Even as the national sides are battling it out on the pitches in Australia-New Zealand to decide who will take home the World Cup in the quarter final stage, a behind the scenes slugfest is taking place between two rival broadcasters, which have both laid big bets on the sport. We are referring to Star India and Multi Screen Media (which runs the Sony Entertainment Television network in India).

The former is telecasting the World Cup and has the rights to India cricket internationally, while the latter is gearing up to telecast the cricket league – the Indian Premier League (IPL) in the next two months, apart from Euro 2016 qualifiers, FIFA International friendlies and various Fight sports. At stake is close to Rs 4,500 crore that is likely to be spent by advertisers on sports television this year. Of this ginormous pie, approximately Rs 2000-2,200 crore is estimated to be spent on the World Cup and IPL. It’s no wonder then that the two are resorting to sledging within the confines of advertisers’ and media agencies’ cabins and to journos.

Star India began its World Cup innings just about three weeks ago - rather shakily. A Sony spokesperson reveals that the Star ad sales team had just about managed to raise Rs 100 -150 crore or so in ad and sponsorship deals before the once-in-four-years tourney began. “They were really desperate,” he says. “India were performing abysmally on their tour overseas.”

The Star spokesperson is quick to respond, “In the first two weeks only, the advertiser as well as sponsor count for the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup was 50 per cent higher than 2011 edition as well as the IPL.”

The Sony spokesperson’s rejoinder to this is that India’s stupendous display against Pakistan in their opening encounter helped bail out Star Sports. Advertisers flocked to its doors, cash in hand ready to pay premium to air their TVCs. Estimates are that Star India will raise anywhere from Rs 800 - 900 crore from this year’s contest, which ends late in March.

And even as Star has been screaming that this year’s edition has generated the highest ratings ever, and in its trail ad revenues, Sony’s spokesperson has been rubbishing the numbers. Says he: “The ratings in this edition have seen a substantial decline when compared to the 2011 edition. Moreover fans had to wait for a week to witness an India match; the decline is constant in the non-India matches too. Whereas in IPL, each and every match is entertaining and is showcased on prime time.”

He adds, “After 31 matches, the bouts involving India are generating 6.1 TVRs, which was 10.3 during the 2011 edition and the decline is constant in non-India matches too wherein it has dropped from 3.6 TVRs to 1.3 TVR.”

Terming those figures as absolute no-balls, the Star India spokesperson asserts, “The cumulative reach of the ongoing World Cup touched 534 million viewers after the first 29 matches (TAM data CS4+ extrapolated to the universe using a standard conversion factor). In terms of TVRs, the India vs Pakistan match garnered 14.9 TVR, India vs South Africa got 12.7 TVR, and India vs West Indies managed 13.1 TVR and the non-India match ratings are fluctuating from 2 to 2.5.”

Media observers also point out to the fact that the reporting of the ratings has also changed since 2011. “In those days, LC1 towns were not factored into the ratings. Hence, a pure comparision is also not possible,” says a media expert. “It’s like comparing apples and oranges.”

The Star India spokesperson in turn takes a dig at MSM’s telecast record of the IPL, saying the trend is clear. “The IPL reach has declined continuously since season one and sharply in the last three years. Post World Cup in 2011, the tournament suffered as both foot fall and engagement dropped.”

Terming these allegations as “baseless,” the MSM official shared the cumulative reach of IPL since its inception.

The official also added, “Not only in terms of cumulative reach every year but also in terms of ad revenue we witnessed an eight – 10 per cent increase.  IPL is an established entity and considering the fact that the tourney has survived through many ifs and buts in past years, the asset is now beyond question.”

The Star spokesperson says that MSM has a major challenge on its hands over the next few weeks. It is going to telecast the IPL very soon after the World Cup ends; at a time when the sports ad spends appetites of some advertisers may have been satiated courtesy the World Cup. However, to MSM’s advantage is the fact that most big spenders are beginning new financial years (the year end for most large corporates in India is 31 March) and hence will have fat wallets. Nonetheless, Sony has to raise anywhere from Rs 900 to 1,200 crore to make this year’s IPL outing pay off.

The Sony spokesperson quickly reverts that this is a given. “While we don’t comment on internal financial figures, we will meet and maybe even beat the revenue target we have set for this year’s IPL,” he says. “Advertiser interest is rising thanks to the excitement that is building around cricket.”

Even as they are taking digs at each other’s performances, the fact remains that both broadcasters are well aware of the importance and valuation of the two flagship tournaments. Moreover the fact that Star's Hotstar platform is the digital partner of IPL and Max was the destination of the World Cup not long back, proves that the two desire both the tournaments equally. Star India probably is hungry for growth in sports. Its CEO Uday Shankar has outlined the broadcast network’s intentions very clearly: it wants to pitch in a big way to grow the sports ecosystem in India. And in the process, also bring in mountains of revenues for his network.

When the next bidding process for the IPL begins by next year or so, you can be sure Shankar and his team will be on the frontlines making a definitive attempt to acquire its rights. Of course MSM’s NP Singh will be up front too. The rivalry will continue.

Latest Reads

https://indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/11/30/trai-logo.jpg?itok=PnO_QoX3
Supreme Court defers NTO 2.0 hearing to 15 February 2022

The Supreme Court bench of Justices UU Lalit, S Ravindra Bhat, and Bela Trivedi has deferred hearing in the New Tariff Order (NTO) 2.0 case to 15 February 2022. The matter pertains to a bunch of petitions filed by IBDF and certain broadcasters against the Bombay high court order on the...

Television TV Channels Terrestrial
https://indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/11/30/punit_pandey.jpg?itok=_L4ZKNAE
9X Media CBO Punit Pandey takes additional charge of revenue

Mumbai: 9X Media’s chief business officer (CBO) Punit Pandey has taken additional charge of revenue for the network. Being part of 9X Media’s executive team, he will continue to work closely with the board of directors to drive the next phase of growth for the network. An industry veteran with over...

Television TV Channels People
https://indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/11/30/pogo.jpg?itok=7EfQ61Rx
Pogo launches Telugu language feed

Mumbai: WarnerMedia kids’ entertainment TV channel Pogo has announced a new Telugu language feed to reach more homes in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

Television TV Channels Kids
https://indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/11/30/zee.jpg?itok=7o997z2i
Zeel acquires media rights for Emirates Cricket Board’s UAE T20 League

Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (Zeel) has signed a 10-year media rights deal with Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) for their upcoming UAE T20 League. The broadcaster makes its return into sports broadcasting after its non-compete agreement with Sony Pictures Networks (SPN) India expired.

Television TV Channels Viewership
https://indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/11/30/star.jpg?itok=27CMzNn_
Star and Disney India postpones new channel launches till further intimation

Star and Disney India has deferred the launch of 15 (SD+HD) channels and renaming of one channel until further intimation. “This is to inform all distributors of television channels that the launch of following 15 channels and name change of following one channel have been deferred till further...

Television TV Channels Viewership
https://indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/11/29/news18-india.jpg?itok=1pS1uLwW
News18 India to host ‘News18 India Chaupal’ on 1-2 December

News18 India to set to host "News18 India Chaupal – Desh Ka Sabse Bada Manch" on 1-2 December. The event will be telecasted on News18 India channel from 6 p.m onwards on 1 December and 11 a.m onwards on 2 December.

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
https://indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/11/29/star-sports.jpg?itok=XO0O3ENp
India vs New Zealand opening T20 match garners 73 million reach

The opening match between India and New Zealand, in the T20 international series that began on 17 November, garnered a reach of 73 million (2+U+R) becoming the most-watched T20 opening match in the last three years.

Television TV Channels Sports
https://indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/11/29/zee-1.jpg?itok=ENNZJsip
Zeel-Invesco case: Bombay HC to continue hearing on 30 Nov

At the Zeel-Invesco hearing held on Monday, the division bench of the Bombay high court decided to continue the hearing on 30 November. On 29 October, the court had granted a temporary injunction against the requisition notice by Invesco.

Television TV Channels GECs
https://indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/11/29/think.jpg?itok=WeqZaYMX
Believe buys out Think Music to boost South India position

Mumbai: Digital music company Believe has acquired Think Music, a South India-based music label. With this acquisition, the company wants to further strengthen its position in South India. “The acquisition will help Think Music accelerate the growth and monetisation of its whole catalogue by...

Television TV Channels Music and Youth

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories

* indicates required