IPL hits the jackpot

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/i/ipllogonew.jpg' class='caption'> The DLF IPL has enamoured not only the cricket fans and housewives but the advertisers too, as they do not seem to mind the hike in ad rates by SET Max.

Updated: April 24, 2008 10:50 IST
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New Delhi:

It's not just the casual cricket fan and the housewives who seem to have been enchanted with the DLF Indian Premier League, but the advertisers too appear to have been enamoured by the cash-rich event. While broadcasters SET Max continue to hike up the ad rates, media's wheelers and dealers do not seem to mind.

From the umpires' dresses to teams' kits, everything is sponsored and with the advertisements cluttering your television sets, all lead to more and more money for the broadcasters and the advertisers.

The soaring IPL ratings have made SONY and the advertisers very happy even though if it means that they will now have to pay more.

SONY initially sold ads at 2 to 2.5 lakh per 10 seconds. Now that has gone up to 3-4 lakh. That incidentally is what ESPN managed to get for the Twenty20 World Cup. Also, after India made it to the final against Pakistan, the last minute ads went for as much as 7-10 lakh per second.

The sharp contrast becomes evident between the ad rates of T20 World Cup and the 50-over World Cup in West Indies, which was just 1.5 lakh per 10 seconds.

Experts believe the advertisers are not only targeting to enhance their product's value but also taking their brands closer to the people.

While the entertainment value has helped make the IPL even more successful, the fact is that this is not an event where advertisers could lose even if any team goes out early like India did in the last World Cup.

But some of industry experts are still a bit cautious.

"The viewership will stabilise at a lower level, I will be surprised if they don't. Eventually, what's going to happen is that there's going to be so much cricket played that the interest will wane. Especially, if I have no loyalty towards a team," opined Santosh Desai, MD & CEO of Future Brands.

The IPL broadcasters, SET Max, also admit that the ratings will go down but the situation won't be panicking.

"We will probably see a dip in the ratings during the middle of the tournament, because it is a long tournament, but we're sure we'll be able to bounce back by the end of the event," Sneha Rajani, Vice President, Sony India said.

It will be interesting to see what course the IPL takes off the field over a period. But as long as there are good ratings, advertisers are bound to be there. And with the kind of start it had, it seems Lalit Modi (the brain behind IPL) made sure ratings and advertisers were here to stay.

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