Umaire Effendi
Apr 20, 2015

Power Play @ IPL 2015: '24 to 39 pc spike in subscriber numbers during IPL in last three years’

Salil Kapoor, COO, DishTV India, on the brand's plans for eighth edition

Power Play @ IPL 2015: '24 to 39 pc spike in subscriber numbers during IPL in last three years’
Have investments gone up or down over the years? What explains this?
There are a number of factors, which determine a brand’s investment in IPL (primarily in the form of sponsorship). Team or players' past performance, time at which the matches will be telecasted, advert rates etc. With team India’s surprisingly great performance in the World Cup has shot up the demand for cricket content again, which clearly has an upswing effect on the association costs done at the last minute. We as marketers are constantly looking at opportunities, which gives us the best return on our investment and with IPL expanding its reach and upping the level of cricket, we feel it’s the right platform to engage with the ‘cricket fan base’ of India.  
Has the nature of leveraging the association with the IPL changed over the years?
For large brands like DishTV, association primarily means engagement activities with our consumers, trade partners and employees. While, our target audience has remained the same, the tools to reach out to our stakeholders have evolved. For example, consumer contests are more digitally led than on ground.
Which has been the best year so far, in terms of ROI?
DishTV saw (between) 24 to 39 percent spike in subscriber numbers during the IPL in the last three years. This year, post India’s quarter final victory over Bangladesh, in the just concluded World Cup, sales jumped 50 percent when compared with non-IPL months. Kolkata Knight Riders is a promising team and is the defending champion. We expect KKR to make their way to the end of the tournament. As the tournament progresses we expect more cricket enthusiast investing in LCDs and thus in DTH boxes for the most premium content. 
Why have you associated with the KKR?
We have an old association with Shah Rukh Khan (SRK) which goes back to 2009. He has been our brand ambassador since then. SRK believes in enthralling his audience with quality and consistent entertainment which is the same philosophy we at Dish TV believe in. Kolkata has always been a very important market for us and over the years we have been working with the eastern region for trade and consumer engagement activities. Continuing our relationship with Shah Rukh Khan and KKR we hope to bring good luck to the KKR team. And, renew our promise to keep the audience entertained throughout the season.
What will be your masterstroke during the IPL?
IPL is the biggest cricket event after World Cup. While, all the other DTH companies were focusing only on cricket, we decided taking a more strategic route, instead of coming up with tactical offers. We conducted a pan-India consumer survey, which revealed that the millennial generation has tremendous interest in sports and HD is the preferred choice for watching sports compared to other genres. The research also showed an interesting angle that usually in a family its only one person who is interested in sports, the rest are still focused on GEC, movies, music etc.  Keeping these insights in mind, we re-looked at our channel offerings and have made significant changes in our packages. First we decided to up the quality barometer and added maximum number of HD channels. We now have 41 HD channels, which are the highest number of HD channels shown by any DTH player in the industry, thus, keeping the proposition, cricket plus entertainment for the whole family. We even fortified our sports packaging, offering maximum sports channels (12) in India. Additionally, we have the best sports packaging at every price point
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