B'casters eyeing around 20% revenue growth from election ads

With the poll frenzy gaining momentum in the country, the news broadcasting fraternity is eyeing the general elections to ramp up their ad revenues, even as advertisers' sentiments are divided between the IPL and the polls

e4m by Abid Hasan
Updated: Mar 26, 2014 9:16 AM
B'casters eyeing around 20% revenue growth from election ads

With the poll frenzy gaining momentum in the country, the news broadcasting fraternity is eyeing the general elections 2014 to ramp up their revenues as the advertising sentiments are very high during this period.

All leading national and regional broadcasters are already airing election special shows to gain maximum viewership and good revenues. However, this time, news broadcasters will be sharing their advertising pie with the Indian PremierLeague.

exchange4media spoke to some leading news broadcasters to find out how much revenue increase they are eyeing during this period.

According to Sanjay Dua, CEO, Network18 News Media,“The interest is really very high during this period, but it’ll be little scattered as IPL is also taking place at the same time and both the events cater to the male audience.”

He further remarked that it is not a short-term thing, and the advertising fair will continue for more than a month long basis. Different advertisers are pushing for even smaller associations such as powered by and associated sponsors. “It’s a very huge and big opportunity, and we are hoping for at least 15-20 percent growth in the profit revenues.

On the other hand, all broadcasters have lined up special shows dedicated to the elections and are selling out 100 per cent inventory. RituDhawan, CEO &Managing Director, India TV is expecting the revenues to increase around 20 per cent, but feels that it will land up somewhere around 15 per cent. When asked the reason behind this, she replied, “We were expecting the elections date to be a little later, but it didn’t go that way.”

On the other hand, newly revamped News Express is focusing on content. The channel aired a programme on a sting operation carried out on opinion polls on the first day of its relaunch. The channel is airing its election special from 5 pm to 9 pm. Speaking to exchange4media, VinodKapri, CEO &Editor-in-Chief, News Express shared, “We are eyeing 25 per cent revenue growth, however, our main focus is content; if we will deliver good content, sales will automatically increase.”

As far as Doordarshanis concerned, the national broadcaster is getting Rs 50 crore in funding from the Government, Ranjan Thakur, Additional Director General, Doordarshan shared, adding that it is around 10 per cent of the total funding and is “nothing substantial”.

Meanwhile, news channels in the South are also very proactive during the elections, however, the market is yet to pick up for them. Experts expect the market to pick up mid-April onwards.

Talking to exchange4media, Unnikrishnan BK, Associate Vice President, Asianet News said, “There would be a jump of more than 50 per cent in ad spends during these two months as compared to that of the regular months. The revenues will get concentrated more on polling and counting days. With all news channels charging premium on counting day, we can see more revenues inthe kitty. Asianet News has a policy of not carrying advertisements till 1 pm to enable viewers to get to the results as and when they are announced. So, all ads will be placed only after 1 pm. But as per general trends, we see a greater impact during this period as well.”

Media planners consider this revenue to be short term money, but at the same time, said that since the ad rates during this period is high, it will lead to high profitrevenues.

Sharing his views, SatyajitSen, CEO, ZenithOptimediasaid, “This is all part of the expectations that changeevery Friday and is a short term growth, though there are lots of government ads and DAVP ads that will drive revenues due to high ad rates, which is a good sign for broadcasters.”

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