One the back of what it perceives to be a strong performance buoyed by its news content, India TV has hiked its ad rates by 18-20 per cent effective July 2011.
Speaking to exchange4media, Rajat Sharma, Chairman & Editor in Chief, India TV, said, “Today, I can authoritatively say that India TV has the highest news content amongst the top three Hindi news channels and yet it continues to be on top of TAM charts.”
On the rationale behind the ad rate hike, he said, “Having established our leadership with pure news programming, we are hiking our rates. The rate hike is effective on all deals starting July onwards.”
He further said that India TV had increased the ad rates in early 2010 after securing the top position. This time, the channel waited for more than eight weeks to see the results of the new programming. “We decided to go for a hike only when it was confirmed that viewers have not only accepted our news programming, but the gap between us and the No. 2 has grown week on week.
Stressing that the channel did not want to burden the advertisers with a steep rate hike, Sharma said that the ad rates had been hiked by only by 18-20 per cent.
When asked how expensive India TV would be vis-à-vis other Hindi news channels following this hike, Sharma maintained that the channel was still better value for money than other channel in the genre. “Even after the rate hike, we deliver better GRPs than our rivals,” he insisted.
Meanwhile, speaking about the new content line-up that were delivering ratings wise, Sharma divulged that morning news show ‘Ankhen kholo India’, speed news bulletin ‘Non stop Superfast’ and ‘Top Ten Reporter’ were amongst the top rated shows across all news channels. “Two more news shows – ‘Dus Shahar Dus Khabar’ and ‘5 minute 25 khabrein’ – are also getting maximum shares. ‘Aap ki Adalat’, of course, continues to do well, in fact it is getting even higher shares now since the overall channel share has gone up.”
When asked about how plans for the English channel were shaping up, Sharma quipped, “Oh there are exciting times ahead. We will make some interesting announcements on that front very soon.”
Meanwhile, on the plans ahead for 2011, he said that his mantra for 2011 was ‘Ratings with Respect’.
(With inputs from Noor Fathima Warsia.)