Broadcasters' ad revenues from polls exceed expectations

Given the intense viewer interest, the response from advertisers has been tremendous, say broadcasters as they see political advertising paying off in terms of high revenue growth

e4m by Abid Hasan
Updated: Apr 30, 2014 9:30 AM
Broadcasters' ad revenues from polls exceed expectations

With the voting for the 16th Lok Sabha reaching its final phase and the stage set for the counting of votes, the news broadcasting genre is witnessing maximum shift in viewership. Given the intense viewer interest, advertisers, too, have pumped in the monies, thus adding to the revenue coffers of the broadcasters. 

As per industry estimates, prior to the election campaigns, broadcasters were expecting around 20-25 per cent increase in revenues during the election season. However, this increase has exceeded all expectations.

As shared by Vikram Chandra, Group CEO, NDTV said, “This quarter has been a very good quarter and we have seen jump in revenues. There is a lot of interest among the people in news channels.”

He also pointed out that studies and visibility reports that have been carried out by various agencies are not correct as the viewership is much more than what has been shown.

When asked whether he found the previous Lok Sabha elections to be better in terms of ad revenues than the 2014 elections, Chandra replied, “This year it seems to be good, though the last Lok Sabha elections were also up to the mark. I don’t have the comparative figures yet.”

Sharing her views on this, Ritu Dhawan, MD & CEO, India TV said, “Given that electioneering is at its peak, the nation’s interest has soared in news; it is obvious that additional revenues are getting realised. We expect to close on a fairly high YoY base of non-election year. It, therefore, qualifies for the reasonably high investments that we have made towards election coverage.”

When asked to compare the revenues garnered from the 2014 elections and the previous Lok Sabha elections, Dhawan replied, “Talking of absolute numbers alone, the current elections are proving to be healthier than the previous elections. For us particularly, factors such as India TV’s growth, which in contrast to its competition has been much faster in the last five years, riding on this very fact, the rates the advertising fraternity is willing to extend to us are reasonably higher than what we commanded during the previous elections.”

Ajay Chacko, Group COO, Network18 remarked, “The IBN Network has historically enjoyed tremendous traction and leadership during the elections. The 2014 Lok Sabha Elections are no different. This has also reflected in advertiser interest in associating with our channels – the response from advertisers has been tremendous. We have several partners on board, including Hero as the Presenting Sponsor, Greenlam as the Powered by Sponsor, and Ajnara as the Co-Presenting Sponsor on our election shows. We also have Lloyd, Nerolac Excel, Sensodyne, Tanishq, Snapdeal, Jaguar, V-Guard, Learn by Fun, Fair And Handsome and Goodnight associated with our programming. Microsoft is also working closely with us as an exclusive technology partner.”

Talking to exchange4media, Avinash Pandey, COO, ABP News said, “If I compare with the same month from last year, we have increased more than 100 per cent. These Lok Sabha elections are better in terms of ad revenues.”

When asked whether digital is eating into the advertising pie, Pandey replied, “When the number of platforms increase, the clients’ overall budget doesn’t go down, rather it goes up as they want to catch more set of audiences. We also can’t ignore the fact that this time there are 15 crore first time voters and TV penetration has grown more than double over the period of five years.”

Meanwhile, Zee News CEO Alok Agrawal felt that they have received more than what was expected. “We have seen an increase of 30-35 per cent in advertising revenues. The political advertising as well as brand associations have worked in our favour. Viewership of the channels has also grown during the election period and marketers have also tried to catch different target audience.”

Comparing the 2014 revenues with the previous Lok Sabha elections, Agrawal said, “It is more of the same or we can say that this year is slightly better, but we can’t ignore the fact that overall spends have shifted to OOH and digital.”

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