Sahara News has entered into an agreement with Naman Communication to outsource the marketing of its regional news channel in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. Naman Communication is an SPV in which Prabhatam Advertising and Kamaljit Singh Ahluwalia, a businessman with interests in mining, have a 50:50 stake. Delhi-based Prabhatam Advertising, which had fully acquired Rashtriya Advertising in January 2008, has interests in real estate and media. It runs two channels – a spiritual channel, Sadhna, and an agricultural channel, Hariyali.
Sahara’s deal with Naman Communication, which is for a period of two years, would be effective from April this year. Confirming this development, Abhijit Sarkar, Corporate Communication Head, Sahara Group, said, “We have appointed Naman Communications as our sole consigner to sell and market the commercial slots. The contract is valid for two years with a monthly consideration of Rs 1.25 crore.”
Sahara’s move comes in the wake of its regional channels, with the exception of the Uttar Pradesh channel, not doing well commercially. It is learnt that its MP-Chhattisgarh channel was earning commercial revenue of about Rs 75-80 lakh per month, which is much below the monthly fee of Rs 1.25 crore that Sahara would be charging Naman Communications.
Dinesh Gupta, Chairman, Prabhatam Advertising (earlier Rashtriya Advertising), is bullish about the deal as he expects to earn good revenue, especially in view of the upcoming Assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. He said, “As per the deal, the entire marketing/ad sales staff of the MP-Chhattisgarh channel, along with its 100-odd stringers, would be at our disposal.”
However, Sahara’s Sarkar claimed that the sole consigner had nothing to do with editorial functions. Notwithstanding this, the deal has created a lot of buzz in the media and political circles in view of the forthcoming Assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh and Prabhatam Group’s BJP leanings.