NEW DELHI: Star Sports, the official broadcaster of the ICC World Cup, is likely to lose ₹10-15 crore in advertising revenue after India’s ouster from the tournament. Disappointing millions of fans across the globe, India lost to New Zealand in a blink-and-miss high tension semi-final match by 18 runs on 10 July.
According to media buyers estimates, Star would have charged significant premium selling last-minute ad spots for as high as ₹25-30 lakh per 10 second if India played the finals. Currently, these spots are expected to be sold for ₹15-17 lakh. “Although India’s exit is disappointing, but still this has been a bonanza time for brands with more than 100 days of non-stop cricket action divided between the Indian Premier League (IPL) and ICC World Cup," said Sandeep Goyal, chairman, Mogae Media, a Mumbai-based marketing and communication agency.
Harsha Joshi, an independent media consultant, said that since Star has been selling ads in bundled deals, leaving a small inventory for last minute buys, there may not be significant revenue loss. “But the opportunity of selling a few last-minute spots has been lost because of India’s exit," she said, adding that even if the broadcaster had sold the inventory at ₹30 lakh per 10 second, it would have made an additional ₹8-10 crore. “Brands do pay the huge premium, often launching new products/services, during a World Cup finale match as it offers tremendous reach," she said. Mint had reported earlier that the broadcaster is expected to make ₹1,800 crore in ad revenues from the global cricket extravaganza, which will conclude on 14 July. A typical World Cup match has about 5,500 seconds of total ad inventory, while during the finale, depending on the demand, Star can load up to 7,000 seconds of inventory, which can further increase its ability to make revenue. Leveraging the popularity of the ICC Cricket World Cup, a once-in-four-year event, that is being played in England and Wales, Star has signed over 40 top advertisers, including PhonePe, OnePlus, Havells, Amazon, Dream11, MRF Tyres, Coca-Cola, Uber, Mondelez, Oppo, Philips , Ceat Tyres, Swiggy, Airtel, Vodafone, Netflix, Paisabazaar and ICICI Lombard, among others.
“It’s a long period at the peak of summers, which means certain brand categories that do not advertise during this time, also came on board to get consumer eyeballs through World Cup matches,"noted Mogae Media’s Goyal.
The broadcaster is expected to generate between ₹1,200 crore and ₹1,500 crore through television advertising and an additional ₹300 crore on its video streaming platform Hotstar, according to estimates by media buyers. These estimates are more than double the ₹700 crore revenue that Star had booked in the 2015 World Cup, a Moneycontrol.com report said.
Several factors have worked in Star’s favour in this World Cup. The match timings in England are in tune with Indian television viewing time, and most of India’s games also fell on weekends, when viewership soared, further fuelling ad revenues. This year, Hotstar has opened an additional stream of ad revenue, with Star India pushing bundled ad deals, including both television and digital platforms. In 2015, Hotstar streamed the World Cup matches, but didn’t monetize it by selling ads.
The World Cup revenues add to the blockbuster Indian Premier League season, which generated advertising revenues worth ₹2,500 crore.