Times Network adds 20 new brands to prime time offerings across its news channels

Times Network renews contracts with all its primetime sponsors for all its news channels and adds 20 new brands to its kitty

e4m by Madhuwanti Saha
Updated: Dec 11, 2017 8:49 AM

The positive reception of the extended primetime bands for all the news channels of Times Network with its product offerings, have resulted in contract renewals of all the primetime sponsors. Nikhil Gandhi, President- Revenue, Times Network, said, “I have added 20 new brands to my primetime offering across Times Now, Mirror Now and ET Now. There is a 40 per cent increase in the number of sponsors since last year.”

The sponsors have renewed their contracts at 10-15 per cent hike. It includes Chinese handset brand Vivo, Syska, automobile maker Hyundai Motor India and Kent RO among others. “In some of the cases we have done joint deals with CP Plus and LIC Housing Finance, among others. Most of them take three channels as they believe in variety in primetime,” he added.

Apart from the extended primetime from 9-11 a.m. to 8-11 p.m. six months ago with new faces, Gandhi also credits the contract renewals to the distribution reach which has increased twice and in some cases almost thrice. He said, “In Times Now we have editor in chief Rahul Shivshankar (8-9p.m.), Navika Kumar (9-10p.m.), and Anand Narsiman (10-11 p.m.). The plethora of offering of Times Now itself changed from what it was earlier. The anchors drive different sets of followers for the kind of debate that they conduct.”

Mirror Now has Hettich India and more recently, Amazon Prime, as channel partners. Its primetime offering ‘The Urban Debate’ has five-six sponsors from Ford, LIC Housing Finance to Kurl On. ‘India Development Debate’ on ET Now has attracted five sponsors like Tappme and NSE among others. “India Development Debate is now generating about 25 per cent of channel revenues of primetime revenues. It’s 40 and 50 per cent in the case of Times Now and Mirror Now respectively,” Gandhi said.

Hyundai Motor India follows a ‘Smart Marketing’ strategy with a strong focus on targeted television advertising supported by an integrated 360 degree marketing plan. Puneet Anand, Sr. GM and Group Head – Marketing, Hyundai Motor India, has definitely been able to connect with their TG. He said, “Our endeavour at Hyundai has also been collaborating with impact properties in order to connect with diverse customer aspirations. Our long-term collaboration with Times Now and ET Now has supported us in connecting with elite and affluent audience.”

Hettich India’s alliance as channel partner with the newest channel Mirror Now earlier this year has definitely worked for them. Anil Goel, Managing Director, Hettich India, is content with the way the channel has shaped up. He added, “Faye D’Souza has taken up many important issues and made an impact with thought leaders and influencers in the country which has helped our brand immensely.”

Kent RO has associated with Times Now (SD and HD) and Mirror Now for ‘India Upfront’ and ‘The Urban Debate’ respectively. Paresh Ranjan Karan, Sr. Manager, Marketing - Electronic Media, Kent RO, points out that the shows discussing ‘political coverage and critical sensitive citizen issues’ create the best impact combination for their brand positioning and promotion. He shared, “Through advertising in the prime time and its impact programs, we have been able to reach our potential TG and have conveyed our desired messages to them. Our partnership in such impact and most high rated programs in the prime time has built a brand imagery that cares for the country and the wellness of its citizens in the minds of viewers.”

When it comes to HD space, Gandhi informed that 25 per cent of the advertisers come only on HD. He added, “There is no other news channel that is in HD and that really makes our offering far more exclusive.”

Times Network is also changing the primetime consumption of debate from passive to active with a site called invol.in. Gandhi said, “You can log on and send in your thoughts to people who are debating on the channel. On a real time basis, we get to know the sentiment of the country on the debate.” It has also attracted their sponsors to associate with it. “We are currently developing the back-end for invol.in in terms of how advertisers can leverage its active engagement with viewers,” he added.

Gandhi added that every primetime debate programme generated upto10,000 tweets over and above invol.in. “Most of our Prime-Time Sponsors and Channel Partners are also buying our social media extensions and offerings at additional costs,” he said.

Times Network is also setting up a huge network for digital called timesnownews.com.

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