Is advertising on a sports channel, your next big thing?

Sport. A term determining an adrenaline pumping and chest thumping live action extravaganza, which also ensures that the audiences experience a nail-biting and at the edge of their seat moments.

The category today is one of the hottest genres of television advertising in India and we believe that advertising on a sports channel, deserves to be on your next big thing.

Over INR 6500 Cr in the previous year alone has been pumped in by advertisers on sports channels across TV in India, and these are happening for a reason.

Look at few stats below to find out, how your brand can make the best by advertising on TV, and especially by advertising on sports channels. 

Not just these, the IPL 10 viewership increased substantially (across a plethora of content viewing platforms) to over 1.25 billion impressions on television (for the 59 matches played). Interestingly, women accounted for over 30% of this viewership.

“Combining India’s passion for sports with our global expertise , DSPORT will offer a daily dose of 10+ hours of live content for viewers across the country” – Karan Bajaj, SVP, and General Manager, Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific


So how can your brand make the best of advertising to these audiences, who are young and growing and have an appetite to look at genres beyond the tradition GEC and News?

Here’s our take:-

  • Understanding your product fit:

If your brand caters to an FMCG segment, an automotive-like car/ two-wheeler, adventure gear, sports drink, hotel & tourism service, or mobile-based e-commerce service to name a few, then sports channels are one of your important genres to advertise on. In fact, the last IPL season was watched over by an audience demography comprising of M/F in the age group of 15 – 35 years, which interestingly was 82% of the age group altogether.

  •  Streamlining your content mix:

Never undermine your content strategy. It’s very important to connect to your audience with a storytelling in mind (unless you are looking at a direct sales promotion). Your content strategy should be based on a strong conviction, a uniqueness which your product/service brings to the table rather than a ‘self-promotion’ of your own brand, because over 80% of the audience viewing sports content in India is under the age of 35 years.

  •  Selecting the right partner:

It isn’t easy to get an advertising agency on board which understands and shares the same brand ethos like yours and creates your TV advertisement on similar lines, also it’s equally challenging to find the right media planning agency who understands media terminologies, advises you the best media mix for your brand, and ensure to charge a nominal fees.

But what if you have the power to do these all, and do it yourself at the click of a button?

  •  Underplay your channel selection, but select the right show:

“We want to change the mindset towards sports” – Sanjay Gupta, Star India

There is a reason why Star Network, one of India’s largest broadcaster of sports channels has bagged the IPL rights from 2018 – 2022 for over INR 16,300 Cr. What truly matters here, is not the broadcaster being the highest bidder, but the IPL receiving such a high valuation of brand equity. In fact, with the existing content properties such as Pro Kabaddi, Hockey India League, Indian Super League, International Cricket Council rights already with Star Network, there is all the more reason to advertise on Star Network, where one gets to advertise on the best shows and with the best sporting broadcaster.

  •  Finally, think long-term:

It’s very important to set your expected agenda at the beginning. These must include the clear objective of advertising on a sports channel such as:

a. Advertising on multiple broadcast channels such as Star Sports, DSport, Sony TEN, Neo etc, or multiple shows of different sports.

b. Advertising across multiple sports shows i.e. Live and Non-Live shows, Cricket highlights, Cycling, Tennis, Moto Racing, Hockey, Golf, Soccer, etc and

c. Ensuring to geo-target your ads across a geography for test marketing, or enforcement of ongoing national campaign across a region, or even carrying out multiple ads across different parts of India.

The overall idea is to set relevant parameters and look at ROI’s with a focus on creating a brand equity, rather immediate returns.

So, if you think, your brand caters to an audience comprising the youth, the just married or the just married + 1, then sports channels should be one of the genres which you select to advertise on TV as they leverage you in being focussed to the audience and limit the loss of message or spillovers which you might face by adverting on a GEC – general entertainment or a News channel. 


To know more about advertising your brand on sports channels, write back to us on

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