IPL audience: declining ratings and increasing audience ratings
“If for one more year the IPL ratings go down, then I see a problem in the next four years,” Vikram ¤ Sakhuja, managing director of media buying group Madison Media, told The Morning Brief. , the podcast series from ET. “Although not all advertisers necessarily come to IPL just for the ratings and they are not the whole game, they are still very important.” IPL’s viewership, which grew steadily until April last year, dropped in the second phase of IPL later in the year and the downward trend continued in the last edition, according to data from audience measurement firm TV Broadcast Audience Research Council India (BARC).
Harish Thawani, Founder of The India Club and former Managing Director of Nimbus Communications, said: “We have seen a downward trend in ratings over the past season – if this trend continues next season, there are serious problems in the IPL ecosystem.”
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has auctioned the media rights for the next five years to Disney Star and Viacom18 at more than three times the Rs 16,347 crore the Star Group paid in 2017.
Advertisers have said they will have to re-evaluate returns on investments in the future. “If we are to be in the IPL, we will have to shell out more money. We might be on TV only, or digital, or with franchise teams; several scenarios are possible and it will not be an easy choice,” said Arnab Roy, vice president and chief marketing officer, Coca-Cola India and Southwest Asia.
Responding to a question about the drop in TRPs this year, Roy said, “If consumers left your brand that year, you need to recruit them again.”
The drinks maker, one of the world’s biggest sponsors of global sporting events including FIFA and the Olympics, advertised the IPL through commercials last season. “IPL is a fantastic product; there are always opportunities to improve the product. I hope BCCI is working with all franchise teams to see where improvements are needed,” he added.
“We will prefer to buy advertising spots rather than direct sponsorships on IPL, even if for categories like cars, sports properties directly appeal to our core audience. Advertising rates have become very high,” said the country’s largest automaker.
Suzuki Chief Marketing Officer Shashank Srivastava.
Executives said the drying up of funds among startups, which made up more than half of IPL’s advertisers for at least the past two seasons, is also a concern among broadcast rights holders.