On the eve of the second season of Indian Premier League (IPL), the duration of the strategy break has increased from five minutes to seven-and-a-half minutes. The strategy break is taken after every ten overs. Sources familiar with the development said five minutes in all of the total seven and a half minutes will be free commercial time (FCT) with the balance being live content.
The idea behind introducing this break is to give teams time to evaluate their strategy. However, advertisers are not willing to pay the same spot rates, as what is paid for other breaks, according to media buyers. The reason for this is that viewership is expected to fall by as much as 70% during this long-break.
Commenting on the strategy break, Rohit Gupta, president (network sales), Multi Screen Media (MSM) said: “As of now, we cannot be sure how long the break is going to be because matches are live. Some part of the strategy break will be used for advertising, but we will have to telecast the strategy discussions live.”
The total FCT is at about 2,600 seconds per match. Those in the business say the seven and half minutes will be split in three parts of two and half minutes each. While the first and third part will air commercials, the one in between will be from the ground.
“The response to spots on IPL has been encouraging. If the break is longer, viewership will drop and advertisers, therefore, will not pay the same amount,” said a media buyer.
Currently, a 10-second spot for IPL is being sold at about Rs 3 lakh. MSM has paid about Rs 4,920 crore for the telecast rights of IPL for a nine-year period.
The global media rights for the tournament were sold to the World Sport Group for Rs 8,200 crore earlier this year.