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Disney Star aims to reach 500mn TV viewers from IPL

Disney Star, which retained the television rights for the Indian Premier League for a whopping ₹23,575 crore for the next five years rights cycle, is now planning a big marketing and distribution push to ensure the “highest ever reach” for the league on the linear platform.

Sanjog Gupta, head,Sports at Disney Star said that for Star Sports, this will be the year of resetting and repositioning IPL as the biggest property on TV. “We will make all the efforts to ensure that more people have access to Star Sports. We are launching two premium HD sports channels — in Tamil and Telugu — to service premium audiences, in addition to HD channels in English and Hindi. Last year, we managed to place our sports channels in the base packages of cable operators in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh/ Telangana markets, which has ensured higher reach. We will make IPL the biggest ever on TV,” he said.

While Gupta refused to share targets, the company has started making presentations to advertisers, and some of them on condition of anonymity told Mint that the broadcaster is looking at reaching at least 70% of the sports audience, which is currently pegged at around 730 million.

“They (Disney Star) are saying they will have a reach of over 400 million, but internally, they are aiming for over 500 million. The ad rates they are looking for are also 20% up from the last time,” said a top executive at a large media agency.

Last year, Disney Star was asking for ₹14 lakh for a 10-second spot. Gupta, while refusing to comment on the ad sales, said that the momentum is strong for the IPL this time.

Disney Star had combined rights — TV and Digital — for the league from 2018-2022, but it could not secure digital rights this time as rival Viacom18 outbid it with a winning bid of ₹23,757.5 crore for digital rights alone. However, the broadcaster is not perturbed. “This will actually create more buzz around the league as both the rights holders will invest in marketing and making it bigger,” said Gupta.

“The accretive power of the two networks will actually help in expanding the pie.” Live Mint

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