In a bid to strengthen its revenue prospects, India Today Television has roped in former Times Network executive Hersh Bhandari. Highly placed sources at TV Today confirmed with exchange4media that Bhandari has been specifically designated as National Revenue Head for India Today Television. Officially taking up the assignment on April 26, Bhandari has been reporting to TV Today’s Chief Revenue Officer Rahul Shaw in his new role.
Previously, Bhandari spent six years at Times Network managing the broadcaster’s various portfolios. He had joined in the capacity of Zoom Television’s Sales Head in November 2011. Almost four years later, he was handed the responsibility of managing the ad sales of Times Now, the flagship news offering of Times Network. Beginning as a marketing manager for Channel V, Bhandari was also associated with Aidem Ventures and Sri Adhikari Brothers.
While the results of the final quarter for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2017, are still awaited, TV Today managed to register a revenue increase of Rs. 7.84 crore during the first three quarters of FY17. TV Today’s standalone financials for the period from April 1 – December 31, 2016, peg its total income at Rs. 408.03 crore. The income of the company over this nine-month period during FY16 was Rs. 400.19 crore.
With Bhandari onboard, the group might hope to improve its revenue performance exponentially in FY18. The growth projections of news television industry took a hit in November, 2016 with the demonetisation of high currency notes. News television broadcasters are pinning their hopes on the ongoing fiscal year to recover lost ground. The battle for ad revenues will be intense with new players in the market.
Besides Arnab Goswami’s Republic TV, Essel Group-owned WION will also try to impress advertisers, increasing competition in the English news space. During the launch of Republic TV, India Today Television engaged in an OOH campaign showdown with them by launching their own fresh face before English news television audiences with Anjana Om Kashyap.