There is good news for private television and radio channels which are increasingly looking for alternate sources of revenue in view of the ever-growing competition. The Directorate of Audio Visual Publicity's (DAVP) spending for the electronic media (private television and radio channels) is likely to surpass Rs 20 crore in the current fiscal.
According to informed sources in DAVP, the electronic media ad spending for the year 2005-06 is expected to register an increase of 15-20 per cent over last year's figure of Rs 17-18 crore. The share of radio is likely to cross Rs one crore mark.
Though the Audio Visual (AV) cell of DAVP is about two decade old, yet it was for the first time in 2003-04 DAVP had empanelled private television and radio channels. Prior to that only the official electronic media (Doordarshan and All India Radio) was empanelled with DAVP.
According to a senior DAVP official, following the boom in electronic media, it was necessary to enlarge the scope of the AV cell by including private TV and radio channels, in addition to Doordarshan and All India Radio.
But it is for the first time that DAVP has advertised to seek proposals from private satellite TV and radio channels for empanelment of their concessional telecast/broadcast rates with DAVP for various programmes/time bands for the year 2005-06.
For the last two years, DAVP had been approaching the individual private television and radio channels to get
their concessional ad rates. An expert committee was set up by DAVP to finalise the rates offered by private TV and radio channels.
A top DAVP official told exchange4media that to make the whole process more transparent it was decided to advertise for seeking concessional ad rates proposals from the private electronic media this year.
DAVP has made a policy to review its ad rates for the print media every three years and electronic media every year. According to the sources an expert committee would be set up next month to review rates for 2005-06. DAVP is completely secretive about the nature and constitution of the expert committee, which according to the sources is being done deliberately to keep the whole process of ad rates review more objective and transparent.
DAVP bosses hope to complete the entire process in June to finalise the concessional ad rates for electronic media. The I&B Ministry is keen to ensure that all the ads of ministries for private television and radio channels are routed through DAVP. Exchange4media learns that during the NDA government regime, some ministries had directly advertised with various private channels at full commercial rates, following which a serious audit objection was raised.
Meanwhile, DAVP is deliberating the idea of going for web advertising in view of the growing reach and impact of online media which according to a recent Initiative Worldwide analysis registered 100 per cent increase in its ad growth in 2004, touching Rs 900 crore mark.