"The IPL is a mature event. The fluctuation in viewership ratings and reach is minimal. The outlays are huge but so are the returns. We doubled the ad rates for the high-definition (HD) feed this year to Rs 1.5-1.75 lakh per 10 seconds and despite this, the interest from advertisers has been growing. We have very little inventory left on HD and are almost sold out on SD (standard-definition)," he said.
Sony has been IPL's official broadcaster since the tournament began in 2008. It launched its marketing campaign for the 2016 edition on Wednesday.
Ad rates for the SD feed are up 15 per cent to Rs 5.5-5.75 lakh per 10 seconds, said Gupta.
While Vodafone and Amazon continue to be on-air presenting sponsors, Oppo is the entrant to the list. Yes Bank also continues as an on-air sponsor, among others, Gupta said.
SPN will telecast the tournament on five channels -- Sony Max, Sony Six, Sony Six HD, Sony ESPN and Sony ESPN HD. Sony Max will air the Hindi feed, while Sony ESPN and its HD counterpart will the English feed. Sony Six and Sony Six HD will cater to the regional languages — Tamil, Telugu and Bangla. Earlier this year, SPN announced the replacement to its second sports channel, Sony Kix, with its new sports channel under a joint venture with ESPN.
The audience will have the option of choosing their language feed on the two Sony Six channels through the audio option on their set-top-boxes, as was done last year with Sony Kix.
ILP's cumulative reach was just short of 200 million viewers last year. It is expected to cross that figure this year, media analysts said.
The tagline of SPN's marketing campaign this year is 'Ek India Happywala', reflecting the unifying power of cricket and how it brings happiness to viewers, said Gupta.
"Through the years, marketing has been a big part of IPL. This year, we decided to go with the happiness factor. 'Ek India Happywala' will be the umbrella under which SPN will conduct all its CSR (corporate social responsibility) activities," said N P Singh, chief executive at SPN.