Elections fetch DD News Rs 20 m in revenues

MUMBAI: DD News has garnered advertising revenues of Rs 20 million from the coming Lok Sabha elections.

The news channel from pubcaster Doordarshan's fold, which has clocked a turnover of Rs 100 million in the fiscal just ended, has launched a slew of fresh election programming. Apart from the regular news bulletins, show like Janadesh 2004, Kaante Ki Takkar, Note Garam, Chunavi Jor Garam have been added to the regular programming.

Chunavi Paheli, a contest based show and Khatti Meethi Baatein, a programme on election sidelights as well as a psephological show have been planned for the channel. According to Prasar Bharati marketing head Vijayalaxmi Chhabra, DD has managed to sell the spots for four to five times the normal rates for the period between 1 April and 13 May.

While the channel has attempted to restrict the FCT of normal packages to avoid ad clutter during election time, it may also cut down on the double ticker scroll that is currently on DD News to give it a sleeker look. Among the prominent corporates who have bought airtime on DD News are Asian Paints, Indian Oil and Dabur, apart from Electrolux, Mahindra and Oriental Insurance. Airtel, MDH and Jeevanjyot are the other names who are part of the DD News election package sponsors. These sponsors have come on board particularly for the elections and are not part of the yearly packages. DD effected a 20 to 25 per cent rate hike from 1 April 2004, and advertisers have responded positively to the increased rates, says Chhabra.

DD News, which has climbed in viewership stakes considerably after its November 2003 launch, now faces its stiffest challenge with rival satellite news channels poised for a battle for the eyeballs.

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