Changes atop MIB & DAVP may help resolve ad rate dispute with broadcasters

While Smriti Irani has replaced Venkaiah Naidu as Minister for Information & Broadcasting, K Ganesan has made way for Esther Kar to become the Director General of Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity

e4m by Saif Ahmad Khan
Published: Jul 20, 2017 8:04 AM  | 2 min read

Though the standoff between broadcasters and the Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity is said to be continuing, significant alterations in the leadership of government organisations may help in dispute resolution. After former DAVP Director General K Ganesan moved to the Registrar of Newspapers for India (RNI) as Head of Department, he was replaced by Esther Kar at DAVP. Though this change occurred a little while ago, the appointment of Smriti Irani as the new Minister for Information & Broadcasting added an altogether different dimension. Together, the dual changes atop both MIB and DAVP could bring about the elusive consensus which the stakeholders have been in search of. 

It is also important to mention that new appointments at the joint secretary level of MIB did not help in arriving at unanimity during the earlier negotiations held to devise the rates. Therefore, the possibility of things falling apart further with the fresh regime that has taken charge cannot be ruled out completely either. Multiple sources having access to inside information revealed to exchange4media that “discussions are underway” with the government but the row “has not been annulled” yet. One source stated that the “final verdict from the government’s side” is awaited. Recalling the chain of events, a top ad sales executive narrated that the revision of DAVP ad rates was pending prior to the arrival of the incumbent government. As a representative of news broadcasters, the News Broadcasters Association (NBA) had been in constant talks with the Union I&B Ministry and the pricing committee over the past few years.

Since the revision of ad rates was in the works for about five years, the broadcasters expected an increase of nearly 30% given the current market scenario. However, the revision led to a downward movement. Nevertheless, an industry source mentioned that the effect of ad rates is not uniform across channels. While the rates for a particular channel belonging to a certain network have gone up by roughly 10%, its sister channel has suffered with 15% decrease in ad rates. Moreover, it was stressed that this is the not the first time when broadcasters have chosen to express their anger at the rates devised by the government.

Previously, “top six news channels stopped receiving DAVP ads” owing to a similar issue, a source mentioned. exchange4media approached industry bodies seeking an update regarding the response from the government’s end but our queries were not answered.

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