Anita Iyer    27 Apr 09 14:55 IST

IPL gets the moolah in for FM radio

MUMBAI: FM radio has inadvertently turned out to be one of the key beneficiaries of the ongoing IPL tournament, in terms of advertising revenues.

The moolah is pouring in via SMS driven revenue from on air contests as well as spots. Many regional players, tied up officially with teams from their states, are whipping up a frenzy of loyalty through contests and getting listeners to participate in contests that entice with tickets to South Africa and other goodies.

Chennai based Hello FM registered 5,76,000 callers in a day for their on air contest �Solli Adi' that launched last week. Being an IVRS number, the station has an arrangement with a telecom operator for a percentage based revenue share.

Even the ball updates that happen with alarming regularity across stations (practically once every five minutes) boast a list of presenting sponsors. All this, at no cost - since all the RJs are doing is keeping a tab on the live match via television and relaying the scores to listeners on the move.

Big FM, which is the official partner for Deccan chargers and Punjab Kings XI, have Maruti A-star, Perfetti as the associate sponsors and Centre Fresh for score updates. Says Big FM VP marketing Anand Chakravarthy, It is difficult to say that IPL has contributed to our revenues as we are still getting sponsors on board. The rate card remains the same but it depends on what slot the client is buying as title sponsorship comes with a premium attached to it....

Hello FM national sales head Bharath Vishwanath insists, There are premium charges in terms of package but we don't charge premium on the 10 second slot....

The south market has seen some clients who weren't interested in radio advertising earlier turning to the medium. We have clients who don't normally advertise on radio coming on board as advertisers. Our IPL coverage is sponsored by Dabur Glucouse D and co-sponsored by REBI (the one-stop property shop), Daily Thanthi and Doohm (digital out of Home media),... adds Vishwanath.

For an average station, the package for presenting sponsorship is around Rs 3.5 to four million and associate sponsorship for Rs 2.5 million. With the premium package of 75 per cent, stations are giving 25 per cent free FCT to the advertisers.

Radio City ad sales head Ashit Kukian agrees that some of the packages offered by radio players are going at

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