Spot buy rates on DD News hiked 66%

NEW DELHI: Buoyed by the success of the DD News in terms of viewership ratings, Prasar Bharati has introduced a revised rate card for the channel, with approximately a 20 per cent hike for packages and a whopping 66 per cent increase in spot buy rates.

The new rate card,which has been operational from 1 April 2004, has been well accepted in the market. New advertisers like State Bank of India and Kodak have already signed up Rs

7.5 million and Rs 2.5 million, respectively for three months.

In the new rate card spot buy rates have been hiked to Rs 5,000 per 10 seconds (Rs 3,000 earlier) for prime time and Rs 3,000 per 10 seconds (Rs 2,000 earlier). The prime time band has been extended by one hour - from 6:30 pm to 11:30 pm (7 pm to 11 pm earlier) to help better spread advertisements.

There has been a 50 per cent increase in the rates for sponsored programmes - from Rs 10,000 to Rs 15,000 for prime time and from Rs 5,000 to Rs 7,500 for non prime time.

However, it is for the stock branding and ticker branding, for which there is a huge demand, that the increase is the highest. The new rate is Rs 500,000 per month as against Rs 200,000 earlier. The earlier offer of giving value addition to advertisers in the form of free commercial time on DD Bharati continues.

"DD News was facing the problem of plenty. The most important thing to be addressed was to devise a strategy to reduce clutter of advertisements, especially in prime time programmes" says Sanjiv Datta, Addl Director General (News). "Many advertisers prefer packages only during specific events, otherwise they go for prime time spot buys. So we can shore up our revenues through this," he adds.

The DD News rate card circulated in November last was introductory in nature and meant basically to test the waters. However, the market gave a resounding thumbs-up to the new channel of DD, and against a revenue target of Rs 20 million, DD News was able to attract advertisements worth Rs 90-100 million. DD News took in Rs 20 million around the election coverage programming alone. On the qualitative front too, DD News was successful in wooing top consumer brands - cola majors, 2-wheeler manufacturers, telecom service providers, including several multi-national brands, into its fold.

Three Headlines Today anchors join DD News

Meanwhile, DD News has hit back in a limited way at Aaj Tak by weaning away three anchors, including two ladies, from the Hindi news channel's English sibling Headlines Today. According to sources in DD News, all these three anchors, who joined within the last week or so, are bilingual and would be used extensively for English and Hindi programming on DD News.

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