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IPL 5 hasn't been everything the viewer wanted to be. At least that's what the ratings for the first six matches indicate.
New players, a grand opening ceremony featuring Priyanka Chopra, Salman Khan and Amitabh Bachchan and a marketing campaign that set the BCCI and SET Max back by almost Rs 40 crore. But all this doesn't seem to have revived interest in the fifth season of the Indian Premier League.
According to TAM, the first six matches scored an average rating of just 3.76 - the lowest ever in the tournament's history. Interestingly, only 90.1 million viewers tuned in, and that's lesser than the 101.7 million reached in IPL 4. Media buyers however, aren't surprised.
What's worse for SET Max is that it was already a challenge to attract sponsors in the first place. Vodafone, Idea, Tata Photon, Pepsi, Cadbury and Havells signed on the dotted lines only two weeks before the tournament began.
And though they are paying between Rs 45- 65 crore each, that's just a mere 5-10% increase over last year. SET Max had sold off only 65% of its advertisement inventory before the tournament began, but was still commanding a high of Rs 5 lakh per 10 seconds. And it is hoping that this inventory will be picked up as the semi finals approach.
“The first six games included four weekend games last year, because the league starts on a Friday, this year the league started on Wednesday therefore its only captured two weekend games versus the four weekend games last time. Four IPL games, are the top-rated programs in the top five programs, so it's a very strong property. Just because it rated higher in the previous seasons I don't think it is enough reason for us to right off the property yet.” said T Gangadhar, managing director- India, MEC.
Some experts say that the long weekend last week could have kept viewers away from their TV sets. But for the BCCI and SET Max, the challenge is to ensure viewers tune in.
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