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ICC CWC 2019: India's victory march to boost Star Sports’ revenues by 10%

The ‘Men in Blue’ reaching the semi-final rounds of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 has sent not just fans, but brands too in a tizzy. The India vs Pakistan match reportedly generated revenues as high as Rs 25 crore-Rs 30 crore for Star Sports, now the broadcaster is looking at a bumper haul from the final leg of the tournament.

Despite the England shocker, everyone was confident about India entering the semi-finals. As analysed by Sudhir Kumar, Director – Offline Media, DCMN India, “India had 4 matches to qualify for the semi-finals, so there was a 90 per cent probability that they would qualify. Even if rains stopped the match, India would qualify. India had 9 points and to qualify they needed only 3 points.”

As of now, Australia, India and England are already in the semi-finals, with the fourth team mostly likely pegged to be New Zealand. Who India will face in their semi-final tie is yet to be determined.

Star Sports would have typically reserved 5-10 per cent inventory for these matches in the event that India made it to the big four stage. “Spot buying rates for inventory on these matches could go as high as Rs 30 lakh per 10 seconds,” observed Sejal Shah, Managing Partner and Head of Publicis Media Exchange (PMX – Mainline).

Agreeing with the estimate, Shilpi Tibrewal, Senior VP, Vizeum India, said, “The World Cup started from May 30 and the approximate ad rate offered then was Rs 10 lakh for 10 seconds. If we look at the way the ratings of the matches have been, the average TVR for all matches on universe TG for the last 27 matches (till June 21) has been 1.2, which is not very high. India matches have garnered the maximum TVRs – highest being for India vs Pakistan at 5.9 and the average being 4.1 for 3 matches so far for India. Now that India has entered the semi-final stages, my assumption is that the ad rates would be as below, and it can go up to a price in the range of Rs 25 lakh-Rs 35 lakh for the semi-finals/ finals.”

Information provided by Vizeum India
Information provided by Vizeum India

If India qualifies for the finals, Star Sports may see an overall 10 per cent increase in revenues just from the semi-final and final matches. As Sudhir Kumar puts it, “The entire source of revenue for ICC is coming from the Indian market. Maximum brands are pumping money into the ICC World Cup. Now that India has reached the semi-finals and if they go on to play in the finals, it will increase another 10-15 per cent. Earlier predictions showed that Star Sports would earn up to Rs 1,500 crore-Rs 2,000 crore in revenues for the tournament. Now, they could add at least 10 per cent to that number.”

But what happens in case India does not qualify for the finals? Here’s what media planners have to say. According to Shilpi Tibrewal, “Had the scenario been different with India not being in the semifinals or finals, then the ad rates would be in the range of Rs 12 lakh-Rs 15 lakh, which is closer to the initial offer.”

Information provided by Vizeum India
Information provided by Vizeum India

Explaining further, Tibrewal said, “Considering that an advertiser is entitled to only 180 seconds, disproportionately high rates will not be cost efficient for advertisers who have stayed away from investing in the WC during the recent cricket season. Economies of scale will not encourage investment during non-India semi-final/ final matches, where the ratings would not be higher than what it’s been for India matches. Also, the fact that it’s over-cluttered with 5,000 seconds in total and any advertiser at max would be getting only about 180 seconds in the entire 7+ hours of match time, which will not fetch optimum visibility.”

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