DD News, NDTV lead poll result speed stake

NEW DELHI / MUMBAI: The re-launched DD News is not only proving the sceptics wrong, but has managed to keep the heat on on its competitors. At least till now. And in the process has also managed to attract advertisers.

Today, DD News claimed to have kept its promise of providing the fastest and most authentic results of the assembly elections. DD News and NDTV were neck and neck in giving updates on wins and leads throughout the morning.

By 11.05 am, DD News had given the leads and wins in all the 590 assembly seats, spread over Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. DD News and NDTV were followed by Aaj Tak, Sahara Samay, Zee News and STAR News, according to an internal analysis of Prasar Bharati that manages the affairs of DD and All India Radio.

Besides being fast with the tally, DD News was also first with the news of Digvijay Singh conceding defeat and announcing political 'sanyas' (hibernation) for 10 years.

The quick relaying of trends and results was the outcome of an alliance with another government infotech organisation, National Informatics Centre (NIC).

DD News had entered into a special arrangement with NIC Net as a result of which all the polling centres in four states were linked with DD News studio through a customised software. Advanced news gathering devices, including video phones were also pressed into service.

Meanwhile, the special election news and analysis programme began at 8 am, which continued throughout the day, featuring interviews of deputy prime minister LK Advani, the vanquished chief minister of Madhya Pradesh Digvijay Singh, BJP party chief Venkaiah Naidu and politicians of all hues, including Congress' Girija Vyas, Anand Sharma, and BJP's Saheb Singh Verma and Ravi Shankar Prasad.

There were live inputs from DD News correspondents in Delhi, Jaipur, Bhopal and Raipur, besides expert analysis with studio guests. Naveen Surapneni, psephologist from Centre for Media Studies (CMS) analysed and interpreted the poll results.

DD News, since its launch on 3 November, has emerged as a serious player in the news channel market. On last count DD News was occupying a steady second position, behind Aaj Tak, in cable and satellite homes with a 16 per cent share for the third week of November.


On the marketing front too, DD News' election coverage was a good show. Over 5,000 seconds of inventory was sold by the Prasar Bharati marketing division in Mumbai. More than half of it was sold at two-thirds premium. Hero Honda, Reliance India Mobile Phone, Ad Gel, Emami, MDH, Dabur, Electrolux, S. Kumar's were among the major advertisers.

There was good news for Star News as well on the ad sales front. Said Star News' ad sales head Joy Chakravarti: "All our existing ads have stayed with us during the election week. Apart from that a whole lot of new advertisers have joined us this week."

"For the month of November we managed to get the largest ad sales revenue amounting to a whopping Rs 89 million. And even now our channel is totally sold out because of the elections," added Chakravarti.

Speaking about the new advertisers on board Chakravarti said, "A whole lot of new brands have come on Star News this week. They are Om Kotak, Bell Granito, RPG Cable, Amity, UB Group, Nirma, Link Pens and Himani Sona Chandi Chwanprash."

Whereas NDTV Media CEO Raj Nayak said, "There have been no new ads on both our news channels during this particular week. In fact, all our regular advertisers have booked their spots on our Hindi and English news channels for the week." NDTV 24x7 and NDTV India were sold out during the election week. Nayak said, "We did not have any inventory left so we could not take many ads. It is a demand and supply situation. This time round the demand overtook the supply."

The lowest effective rate that NDTV's Hindi news channel was booked at was Rs 1,800 per 10 seconds. The rates varied between Rs 1,800 - Rs 3,000 per 10 seconds. Whereas it's English news channel was booked at Rs 8000 - Rs 10,000 per 10 seconds.

Nayak said there were some spot buys that were sold for a premium today. "There are some spots that came in only for today (4 December) but I don't want to name them as the clients may not like it. A spot on our English news channel was booked for as much as Rs 25,000 per 10 seconds only for today."

The Sonia Gandhi-led Congress may have been left licking its wounds at the mauling it got at the hustings but the news channels certainly have something to crow about.

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