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Channels expect Rs 100 crore poll ads

25-March-2004
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Channels expect Rs 100 crore poll ads

Television channels expect to earn Rs 100 crore from political parties after the Andhra Pradesh High Court yesterday quashed those sections of the Cable TV Act that do not permit political advertisements on television channels.

Various broadcasters today confirmed that they had begun negotiations with political parties for selling spots on their programmes. The channels on which spots are being sold include Star News, Zee News, Sahara Samay and Aaj Tak.

Broadcasters expect the Congress and the BJP to buy airtime worth at least Rs 50 crore each over the next few weeks.

“We were in talks with various political parties before the Election Commission had come out with order. Now, after the Andhra Pradesh High Court order, our marketing teams have been in talks with various political parties,” said a Star India executive.

According to broadcasting industry sources, the channels have also started to work with various political parties in preparing promotions as well as campaigns.

“We are ready with our TV ads, which will focus on our achievements during the 50 years of our governance and our mission for the country,” said Jairam Ramesh, a member of Congress’ campaign cell.

Before the election commission had reiterated the ban on political campaigning on TV, the party had finalised its electronic media campaign but was forced to hold it back.

As per Congress' earlier plan, this time around its campaign would be heavy on TV ads. According to Party sources, Congress has set aside a sum of Rs 50 crore for its advertising.

The BJP ad budget for TV ads is likely to be equally big, but the party is yet to finalise its decision on its ad agency and its campaign strategy. A final decision is likely to be taken over the next few days.

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