Elections: This counting day, ad slot sales to be 20-30% more than in 2014 

News channels have come up with exclusive offers to make it a lucrative investment proposition for advertisers

e4m by Tasmayee Laha Roy & Ruhail Amin
Updated: Aug 21, 2019 4:25 PM

Elections have always been about numbers. Be it the voter count or ad rates. This Lok Sabha election is no different. Only this time the numbers are swelling - be it social media feeds or advertising spend. The 2019 poll season has seen a hike in numbers especially in ad rates for news channels. 

With the seven-phased election moving towards the end, all eyes are on the counting day and news channels are set to grab every opportunity to make it a profitable one. 

While it is a known fact that viewership of news channels on May 23, the counting day, will cross that of GEC channels, sources say, some Hindi news channels have sold 10-sec ad slots for as much as Rs 5 lakh to Rs 7 lakh.

“The average going rate on the Hindi network is Rs 2.5 lakh/10 seconds right now. I know for certain that one Hindi channel has also sold an exclusive break at about Rs 11 lakh/10 seconds. The exclusive breaks will be lined up in the first 5-6 hours and by evening, when the results get clearer, it will see an upward trend of say Rs 10 lakh/10 seconds,” said Avinash Pandey, CEO, ABP News Network.

Experts suggest a hike of at least 20 to 30 per cent in ad slot sale on the counting day against that of the 2014 general elections.

News channels are also improvising with the options they can offer advertisers. Some have gone to the extent of making the inventory smaller but more exclusive to make it a lucrative investment proposition for advertisers. 

Deepak Choudhry, President at Veecon Media And Broadcasting Ltd., said: “This time, the election counting is likely to go till late night due to the VVPAT counting. We, at Tiranga TV, are providing the most clutter free experience to the viewer with very few ad breaks during the critical counting periods. With us being a new channel, we have less ad breaks as well as less advertising in general, making it a lucrative proposition for the advertiser to reach out to their target audience.” Veecon Media owns Tiranga TV which was earlier called Harvest.

Elaborating on the offerings, Choudhry said, “Our counting day ad packages comprise ad spots in premium positions, Aston Bands during the critical counting period and our sponsor logos will be visible periodically (and non-intrusively) on the screen during the counting day content. We have also bundled ad spaces on our website www.tiranganews.in in our package. We have special programming extended to the government formation day and the oath taking day to ensure our sponsors get longevity and brand exposure on these special days as well.”

Some other channels too are playing the ‘limited inventory’ card for the counting day to cash in on the NaMo vs RaGa battle that has set the nation abuzz with excitement and curiosity. “These elections are being fought fiercely and counting surely will witness a huge viewership. On such high viewership days, advertisers show heightened interest and this year is special because speculations are abuzz about the outcome of the poll results. The advertising rates have gone up manifold as the inventory is very limited,” said Varun Kohli, CEO iTV Network.

According to Pankaj Pachauri, veteran journalist, former media advisor to ex-PM Manmohan Singh and founder GoNews, this election has been the most expensive one ever. “The Trump election was the most expensive one and this has even surpassed that,” he said.

The elections have also set quite a few trends. “It is a record-breaking election with close to 8 billion dollars being spend on the process. It is also interesting to observe that the regional markets are turning out to be more expensive. For example, the Andhra market is by far the most expensive if we look at the ad rates,” Pachauri added.

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