Sahara One has
signed an ad sales agreement with religious channel Aastha, under which Sahara One will sell the advertising slots for Aastha TV and the two channels will co-promote each other's programmes. For instance, the programmes of all three Sahara channels, Sahara One, Filmy and Sahara Samay National, will be promoted on Aastha TV, while the latter's promos will run on the Sahara One network.
Shantonu Aditya, CEO, Sahara One, says, "The genre of religious and spiritual channels is catching up very fast in this country, even faster than music channels. And according to TAM Media Research, viewers in the age group of 35+ years prefer watching these channels. These viewers have money and also the willingness to spend it. This is why we thought there would be enough advertising revenue in this genre."
However, Aditya declined to reveal the details of the deal, particularly the revenue sharing pattern adopted by the two broadcasters.
Why did Sahara One choose Aastha from among all the different religious channels? Aditya explains, "Aastha is the market leader in its genre with around 70 per cent market share. Its absolute channel share is around 2 per cent."
On future business plans of expanding the ad sales venture to other channels as well, Aditya says, "If it is a business deal of mutual interest, we will definitely take it on."
The deal is important from Aastha's perspective, too. The channel did not have an ad sales team. It has been generating revenue mainly through subscriptions. Pramod Joshi, COO, Aastha TV, says, "We were looking at generating revenue through ad sales and looking for a partner to help us in that as we didn't have a full-fledged ad sales team in place. We found that Sahara One has a strong presence in the market and could be a great partner for us."
Joshi claims that this association with Sahara One will go further as they are also planning to work together on a co-production.
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