IPL 2020: Star India sells 95% inventory, shuts window

The Indian Premier League has yet again emerged as the most powerful television marketing tool for brands. It remained immune to the adverse economic impact of the novel coronavirus.

With ten days left for the IPL Season 13 to start on September 19, IPL host broadcaster Star Sports has shut its sales window. No more inventory is available except for the 5% spots “retained for the Diwali period”.

Star India has sold out 95% of the total IPL inventory for television and digital to more than 100 brands – 104 to be precise, including 18 sponsors. “Advertisers are still looking for an IPL opportunity but Star Sports has conveyed to us that no sponsorship or advertisement slots are available, at last for now,” a leading media buyer confirmed to SportzFront.

Despite India incorporation reeling under the blow of COVID-19 pandemic, Star India has been successful in completing one of its best years for the IPL sales.

Star India, SportzFront can confirm, has exceeded its “lowered IPL revenue targets” to rake up over ₹ 3,100 crores from the television and digital sales for IPL 2020. The record grossing is registered despite a nearly ₹ 200-crore fall in the digital sales, which are said to have come down to ₹ 300 crores this year.

The strategical decision to stream the IPL 2020 only on subscription-based OTT platforms Disney+ Hotstar VIP and Disney+ Hotstar Premium has resulted in the sharp decline in the digital sales. There will no free IPL content available on the Star Sports OTT platforms.

With the VI (Vodafone India) coming on board, Star Sports this year will have five co-presenting partners for the league. Byju’s, PhonePe, Amazon and the IPL 2020 title sponsor Dream11 are the other co-presenting partners.

Facebook, Dailyhunt, Polycab, Coca-Cola, Kamla Pasand Group, UB Group are among the other major brands that will be seen during the IPL broadcast or programming this year.

Star India this year had experimented by increasing the broadcast inventory for the IPL preview and post-match studio shows from 15 minutes to 18 minutes. The experiment has been successful. All the programming spots are sold out.

The better revenue is attributed to the facts like the 7:30 pm start, the Diwali season and the brands’ long wait for a worthwhile broadcast property.

“Above all, it is the brand power of the IPL. Several major GEC reality shows will be on-air sometime around the IPL. Brands are not very excited about those programmes. The unexpected high demand of the IPL has surprised industry insiders,” said the media buyer.

The IPL 2020 will be played in the UAE – Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah – from September 19 to November 10. Defending champions Mumbai Indians are pitted against last year’s other finalists Chennai Super Kings in the opener.

Also read: Byju’s to be top spender on broadcast sponsorship

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