BBC World plans to increase its ad revenue in India and for this they have tied up with new advertisers and sponsor. It is also looking at having a longer association and partnership with their advertisers and sponsors.
According to Ms Sunita Rajan, deputy airtime sales director, BBC World, BBC World is a commercial venture, which works on a revenue-based model. Therefore, advertising revenues are important for the channel, and India is a key market for ads.
The channel hopes not only to get more brands but is looking for longer association and partnership with them. The airtime sales operations were set up three years ago for India, and the channel is already associated with 75 brands.
Virgin Atlantic has just signed up for the channel’s travel show ‘Holiday’, which explores holiday ideas to suit every budget. Virgin Atlantic will sponsor the programme for 13 weeks beginning June 12. Other new sponsors on the channel include JK Tyre for the programme ‘Top Gear’; Microsoft for the programme ‘Future Fantastic’; and Bazee.com for a new series of vignettes called ‘The Smart Minute’. All these sponsorships are slated to come into effect this month. The channel had also signed a deal with Hitachi for sponsoring the weather report section.
Among the various categories of advertisers that BBC has focussed on are motoring, finance, banks, insurance, apparels, travel, tourism, IT, Telecom and consumer electronics.
On the ad spread in the channel, Sunita Rajan said that BBC World carries five minutes per hour of advertisements. It’s a clutter-free ad atmosphere, which makes a greater impact on the consumer, thereby benefitting the advertisers.
Commenting on the changed advertising scenario of the channel, Sunita Rajan said that BBC has a larger sales team, which is in constant touch with the market. The channel even has a series of short programmes called ‘The Smart Minute’, which has created an opportunity for advertisers.
Advertising rate are fixed at $900 to $1,200 per 30 seconds of ad spots, the hottest programmes to attract advertisers on the channel include Mastermind India, Face to Face, India Business Report and Question Time India.
Ms. Sunita Rajan reiterated that there would be no shifting from the strict BBC editorial guidelines even if that means sacrificing revenues. For instance, the channel does not accept any ads for the news and current affairs section. Even in analysis and critique programmes, there are no direct product ads, which may influence viewers. ‘Top Gear’, for instance, has no car ads. The high editorial values of BBC must be respected, she maintains.