Mumbai: It is the most awaited of the Indian Premier League (IPL) matches – the final between Shah Rukh Khan owned Kolkata Knight Riders and M S Dhoni led Chennai Super Kings to be played on Sunday in Chennai.
The official broadcaster of the tournament SET Max has raised its asking price to Rs 10 lakhs per ten seconds of commercial time for the final match, nearly a 50% increase from the average Rs 4.5 – 5 lakhs it quoted to sponsors for the league matches, according to media buying executives from Maxus, Starcom MediaVest Group, GroupM, Madison Media and Lodestar Universal. During the previous IPL season the channel was said to have quoted between Rs 8 to 9 lakh per ten seconds for last minute commercial time for the finals of the tournament.
The channel however still has not sold its entire ad inventory for the finals. “SET Max has been able to sell around 85% of its ad inventory for the finals tomorrow,” said an executive from media agency Maxus.
While most advertisers have shied away, it’s the telecoms that queued up for the spot buys, namely – Karbonn Mobile, Micromax Mobile, Samsung, Celkon Mobiles. “Some brands wanted to leverage on the resonance created by a team like Kolkata Knight Riders when it plays in the IPL final match against a team that Dhoni leads,” said Mona Jain, chief executive officer, Vivaki Exchange, a media company that represents buying for clients of Starcom Mediavest Group and ZenithOptimedia.
Rohit Gupta, president- network sales, Multi Screen Media Pvt Ltd (MSM - company that owns SET Max) confirmed the advertising rates but refused to divulge the names of advertisers. “We have definitely increased the spot buy rates for the finals and are hopefully that the entire inventory will be sold out by Sunday,” he added.
At the start of the league this year in April, SET Max has sold just about 65% of its commercial time. However, media experts estimate the channel’s advertising revenue to increase by nearly 15% over IPL-4 given the ad rates over the years have been on a rise. The average price for a 10-second spot in IPL 1 was Rs 2.5 lakh, it rose to Rs 3.5 lakh in the next season. For IPL 3 and IPL 4, the price remained more or less constant at Rs 4.5 lakh per 10 seconds, while the rates charged this season were between Rs 4.5 – 5 lakh.
The ratings for the first 68 matches of IPL 5 garnered an average television rating of 3.27, a marginal drop from 3.39 during IPL 4, according to TAM Media Research. During IPL 3 the ratings were at an average of 4.65, and 4.17 during IPL 2 and 4.81 during the inaugural season in 2008.
Despite the ratings have been dipping over the seasons and unsold inventory, the channel continues to laugh its way to the bank. Mint on 19 April reported that SET Max’s advertising revenues from IPL 3 to IPL 5 is around Rs 2,200 crore. The calculations were based on ad rates and the amount of inventory sold.
Under the current agreement signed in July 2010 between MSM Satellite (Singapore) Pte Ltd (fully owned by MSM) and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), a copy of which is with Mint, the payout to BCCI is nearly Rs 1,500 crore for IPL 3, 4 and 5 seasons (taking into account the 60 matches played in IPL 3 (nine teams), 75 matches in IPL 4 (10 teams) and 76 matches in IPL 5 (nine teams). The earlier contract signed in 2009, a copy of which is with Mint, had pegged MSM’s payout to BCCI at a consolidated Rs 8,200 crore.