IPL 2023 – The Indian Premier League is a significant cricket tournament that attracts millions of viewers. The competition is not just limited to cricket; it extends to advertising revenue as well. The current season will see a fierce competition between the joint venture, Viacom 18, and Disney Star, who has been the champion of the last five years. Viacom 18 won the IPL digital rights for the 2023-2007 cycle for Rs 23,758 crore and aims to get 50% of the total advertising spends in the tournament.
IPL 2023 The Indian Premier League (IPL) is one of the most-awaited cricket tournaments in the world. With IPL 2023 just around the corner, Disney Star has managed to rope in 11 sponsors for the event.
Expanding the Advertising Base
Viacom 18 aims to expand the advertising base by almost four times and is in talks with major advertisers, small and medium companies (SMEs), and regional players. The ambitious aim of the joint venture is to have over 500 companies advertise in the tournament.
Rewriting the Advertising Rules in IPL 2023
The joint venture aims to disrupt Disney star established IPL model of relying on subscriptions-plus-advertisements. In contrast, Viacom 18 is offering all matches free on its OTT platform Jio Cinema, which already has 100 million active users, irrespective of the telecom service or smart phone being used. Additionally, it will tap the 75 million connected TV homes streaming OTTs.
Record Digital Viewership in IPL 2023
The joint venture is confident of achieving a record digital viewership of 550 million in IPL, the highest being 330 million in 2018. The matches are offered for free on Jio Cinema, but critics suggest that the ‘free’ element is misleading.
Telecom Service Providers Offering Low-Priced Top-Up Plans
Viewers will have to pay the telecom service provider even if the subscription is free, making digital viewing significantly more expensive than TV viewership. Telecom service providers are expected to offer low-priced top-up plans during the IPL season, making the additional spends negligible. The digital rights for IPL could be used to enhance telecom companies’ data play. The tournament could incentivize customers to move from 4G to 5G, which offers better speeds and would improve average revenue per user metrics for telecom companies.
Advertising Agencies’ Opinion on Viacom 18’s Strategy
The advertising agencies have a different take on Viacom 18’s strategy. Sandeep Goyal, Managing Director of Rediffusion, said that digital has a broader reach than TV, and the tournament could get new and younger audiences interested in IPL. However, critics suggest that big advertisers focus on only about 100 million of the paid digital subscribers, and a free service may bring in more users whom advertisers may not be interested in targeting at all. So, the freebie move may not translate into more advertising.
The battle for the Rs 5,000 crore IPL advertising pie between Viacom 18 and Disney Star will be an interesting one. Viacom 18’s ambitious aim to get 50% of the total advertising spends in the tournament and expand the advertising base nearly four-fold to over 500 companies is impressive. Their disruptive strategy of offering all matches for free on their OTT platform Jio Cinema, tapping into connected TV homes streaming OTTs, and targeting a record digital viewership of 550 million could potentially change the advertising game.
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