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Radio players sing to the tunes of IPL
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Channels expect 30 per cent higher revenue compared to earnings otherwise

Radio companies are targeting a 20-30 per cent increase in advertising and sponsorship revenues on the back of a successful Indian Premier League (IPL) season. Industry analysts and sources in radio companies say they expect IPL sponsorship revenues of around Rs 50 lakh a month per radio company during the current 45-day season.

Apart from on-air campaigns, most FM stations are working on on-ground activities to promote the teams they have associated with. Neeraj Chaturvedi, national marketing head of Fever FM, says: “We have seven sponsors this year and so, are expecting a 20-30 per cent increase in revenues. We are also uploading our programming content, like interviews with players, on YouTube and Facebook. Our Facebook account already has around 10,000 members.”

Likewise, RadioCity has this year sold its inventories to about seven sponsors, including Bajaj Electricals, Bharti Cement, and Pavna Group. Ashit Kukian, COO and president — sales, RadioCity, says: “Several companies in FMCG and telecom space are taking to radio. During this year’s IPL season we expect close to 20-25 per cent increase in advertising revenues.” The radio channel is offering match updates as interviews of sports and Bollywood celebrities, along with offering local content for cities.

RadioCity has created a property on-air — contests where tickets to IPL matches are awarded, ball-by-ball updates and ‘a new character’ who will give his take on IPL everyday. Some cities will also conduct a live cricket match with radio jockeys and listeners.

“If a sponsor takes all cities and all features, it’s worth over Rs 1.5 crore. Although we have not increased our rates for advertising slots, sponsorship value has gone up by around 10 to 15 per cent compared to last year, since we have introduced more features for them,” says Kukian.

Big FM, on the other hand, expects a 30-per cent increase in advertising and sponsorship revenues. Its sponsors include Max Mobile, Maruti Suzuki, Idea, Parle, Bharti Cement and Orient Fans. The channel’s Marketing Head, Anand Chakravarthy, says: “We have tied-up with Fun Cinemas to give tickets for IPL matches. We are also giving out stadium tickets to lucky winners, along with organising meet-and-greet interviews inside studios for 15 lucky contest winners.”

The radio channel has also created a microsite of IPL on its website, where interviews of players, updates on matches and special comments are continuously uploaded. “More than increase in listenership, we are looking to retain our current 25 million listeners, that generally see a drop during IPL season. Going by the response we have received so far, we expect our listenership to go up by 10-12 per cent,” Chakravarthy added.

This year’s theme — ‘Masala Cricket’ —is spicing up the IPL hype on Big FM network. The radio channel also has former Indian players like Arun Lal giving expert comments after a match.

Fever 104’s on-air programming content varies for cities, keeping the local team in mind. While its Kolkata station has created content around Kolkata Knight Riders, the Delhi and Mumbai stations are busy preparing and updating content for Delhi Daredevils and Mumbai Indians, respectively.

In Delhi, the channel has lined up ‘Date a Daredevil’ programme where a lucky listener gets to go on a date with Gautam Gambhir, a player on the team. Other popular programmes include ‘Wish the Captain’ and ‘Breakfast with Daredevils’.

Another interesting initiative is from Radio Mirchi and Set MAX (official broadcaster of DLF IPL) that aims to reach out to listeners who are unable to tune in to the match. Radio Mirchi CEO, Prashant Panday, said: “Our partnership with Set Max gives us access to several IPL opportunities. For instance, on the inaugural day, we flew people from all over Mumbai, straight from their offices to DY Patil stadium.”

The channel’s radio jockeys are also pitching in, sometimes even talking to the listener’s boss if he/she isn’t allowed to leave early on a match day.

Source: Business Standard

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