Television

SABTNL gets a grip on DD Metro prime time

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MUMBAI: Sri Adhikari Brothers Television Network Ltd is again trying to milk its old cash cow. That too without all the glam and snazz that marked the HFCL Nine Gold takeover of prime time on national broadcaster Doordarshan's Metro channel at an astronomical Rs 1210 million for the 7 pm to 10 pm prime time band. Clearly when it comes to dealing with DD, SABTNL understands the dynamics of operations like no other.

It has bought up three hours worth of prime time slots on DD Metro from 8:00 pm to 10:30 pm except the 9:30 pm slot (which will be with them in short time) from Monday to Friday. 

In the afternoon band as well, the network has bought the 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm one-hour slot.

According to Kiran Murthy, V-P sales (DD), SABTNL, it is a long term association that the network was looking at. "Nobody can make money in a short time on Metro. The channel itself is going through a transition stage after the Channel Nine shakeout, wherein advertisers had turned off the channel," says Murthy. 

There are a lot of positives that DD metro offers, says Murthy. Many advertisers are willing to advertise on Metro for the simple reason that the channel has a presence in 18 metro cities and is reaching viewers who have buying power, he says. "We are getting bookings from Chennai from brands like Cavin Care and Medicare which are very choosy in buying. They are very much on Metro." The additional advantage that the Adhikaris have is a proven track record on DD, he adds.

And SABTNL is not just looking at DD Metro as a source for programming opportunities. It is also looking south for expansion. Its entry into this market will be made through a Tamil serial that is based on its superhit crime thriller on DD National Suraag. This show is set to premiere on Sun TV. The Sun Network is what SABTNL is looking at probably because Kalanithi Maran's network has a system similar to that of DD that calls for taking up slots on the channel and the producer keeping the rights. Apart from Tamil, SABTNL has also bought slots on Sun's Telugu channels Gemini and Udaya TV. 

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