MUMBAI: Despite the betting scandal surrounding Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket, new figures show that viewing figures remained high while advertisers carried on with their investments, some even adapting their content to reflect events.
The average TVR for live matches shown on SET Max, the tournament's official broadcaster, remained broadly the same after three players were arrested as before, slipping only slightly from 2.7 to 2.6.
Overall ratings for the entire tournament on the SET Max and Sony Six channels averaged a TVR of 3 for the all-India market, with the final rising to 6.9.
"We are satisfied," Neeraj Vyas, senior vice-president and business head of SET Max, told the Economic Times. "Our advertisers are satisfied and none have pulled out in-between either," he added.
In all, 59 brands advertised in spots during IPL matches in the initial period of the tournament. And in the final week, 49 brands had spots running, including 13 which came on board only for that week.
Some indicated that pricing was the reason they did not continue to advertise. Raja Banerjee, general manager marketing at Berger Paints, explained: "Our not advertising during the last week of the tournament had nothing to do with the scandal or its aftermath. The semi-finals and final were too expensive to buy air-time on, for us."
Betting on the IPL is illegal, as India bans gambling on all sports but horse racing, so the arrests of players, team owners and officials had the potential to seriously damage its reputation with advertisers.
Some, however, rapidly developed advertising with a spin on the scandal. Nando's produced an ad promising consumers "You can bet on us".
And online marketplace Quikr.com came up with a cricketer with a towel tucked in his pants being dunked in a bucket of water by a police officer who advised: "Do not sell yourself for money. If you want to sell something, sell old materials from your house on Quickr."
Data sourced from Economic Times; additional content by Warc staff