Even though the exact venue and schedule of the 2019 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) has still to be announced (a clearer picture will come up only after the general elections dates are declared), Star Sports, the media rights holder of the cash-rich league, is already intensifying its efforts of tapping the market with its IPL coverage plan by seeking the support of advertisers.
This time around, the media organization is looking to increase its viewership by up to 15% with a similar increase in the ad revenues.
Star India is aggressively reaching out to the market with the sales pitches. In fact, the official IPL broadcaster is targeting as much as ₹2,100 crores from advertising revenue. Last year, the league generated a stunning amount of ₹ 1,800 crores in ad sales.
It will be interesting to see whether SS manages to garner as much interest as is expected with the venues and schedules still not decided. Things get further protracted since the 2019 ICC World Cup is just around the corner.
Along with the it television operation, Star Sports is also giving a major push for its regional channels and the online platform Hotstar.
Moreover, the broadcaster is also contemplating whether or not to utilize Hindi entertainment channels to increase its reach. The things are further complicated by the new tariff order regime announced by TRAI.
It is also working hard to increase its regional reach as well, having already covered three regional languages – Telugu, Tamil, and Kannada. Star is now planning to have a live Bangla feed this time around.
Star Sports will also be broadcasting the ICC World Cup 2019, having bought the ICC’s exclusive broadcasting rights for the mega event. This provides for a flexible option for the broadcaster to provide flexible ad packages to the interested parties. In fact, it has been reported that it will be making joint sales pitches for ICC World Cup and IPL.
Star India had acquired the IPL media rights for a blockbuster price of ₹16,347.5 crores for a period of five-year. The sum boils down to an approximate ₹ 54.5 crores per IPL match. It will be interesting to see whether sponsors are willing to fork out ₹15 lakhs per ten-second advertising slot.