In an attempt to cash in on the poll fever, television channels have almost doubled their advertising rates for May 13, the election results day.
News channels are trying to maximise their revenue since all the results will be out in a single day, unlike in 1999, when the counting was spread across two days.
The channels are also trying to line-up programmes that are not just plain vanilla psephological analysis of poll results.
“All advertisement slots for on May 13 have been sold out. And there is definitely a huge premium. We are trying to add value for our advertisers by flashing company logos and brandnames at regular intervals in a non-intrusive manner,” said Aroop Ghosh, editor of Sahara Samay. But he refused to disclose the premium being charged.
According to Anita Nayyar, managing director (north) of Starcom, channels have factored in the premium for May 13 while selling the entire election coverage packages to clients. “But new entrants will have to cough up more money,” she said.
Rajeev Karwal, chief executive officer of Electrolux Kelvinator, said his company had spent around Rs 2.5 crore during the poll- related programmes, primarily on NDTV and Aaj Tak.
“Since we struck a deal with channels quite early, we have got a good bargain. I am told there are virtually no inventories left with channels for new advertisers to get in,” he said.
According to CVL Srinivas, managing director of Maxus, a Group M media buying agency, elections would contribute around half of the news channels’ revenue this year. “May 13 will be the single biggest revenue earning day for all of them,” he said.
CNBC TV18’s 24-hour results package on May 13 has been named Judgment Day. According to Sai Kumar, channel's head of business development,
It would be a cutting edge analysis, which would look at the impact of the results from the point of view of businessmen and retail investor, said Sai Kumar, CNBC TV18 head of business development.
“Advertising rates go up during the Union Budget and the credit policy. But rates will be 150-200 per cent more on May 13 compared to regular days,” Kumar said.
Star News has readied a programme called Kaun Banega Pradhan Mantri--Aapka Hukm for May 13. It would contain news reports from counting centres as well as analysis of what those results meant to the common man, said a Star News spokesman.