DD hopes to rake in Rs 300 crore from Commonwealth Games

By Sangeeta Tanwar , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | April 27, 2010
Doordarshan will showcase the games on five of its channels, including DD National, DD Sports, DD India, DD Bharati and DD Urdu

State owned Doordarshan, which clocked about Rs 1,000 crore in the last fiscal, aims to earn more than Rs 300 crore from ad sales in the 12 days of the Commonwealth Games telecast. There will be about 200,000 secondages of ad space available during the games.

Doordarshan has either already launched or is ready to launch new shows as build up to the event, with the prime objective of creating interest and buzz around the games. For instance, shows such as Countdown to the Games and Mission 2010- Commonwealth Games are already on air.

It is also ready with another live show focusing on particular games, venue preparations, and former and probable athletes associated with the Commonwealth Games. There are four other shows in the pipeline, including On the Mark Set Go, Sports Quiz, Khel Khel Mein and A to Z of Commonwealth Games.

These special shows will offer another 100,000 secondages of advertising space. Doordarshan aims to add another Rs 200 crore in ad revenues during these special programmes.

The broadcaster has rolled out four different packages for advertisers - valued at Rs 5 crore; 10 crore; Rs 25 crore; and Rs 50 crore. These 300,000 secondages of ad space will be distributed equally among the advertisers, depending on packages bought by them.

The Rs 5 crore and Rs 10 crore packages are meant solely for the state governments and Doordarshan expects at least 10 states to come on board. Besides, the general advertisers will have the option to choose between the other two packages at Rs 25 crore and Rs 50 crore.

In an exclusive interview with afaqs!, Aruna Sharma, director general, Doordarshan, says, "Since DD will be the only network to telecast Commonwealth Games in India and given the nation's interest in the games, advertisers will get maximum visibility during these 12 days of the Commonwealth Games."

"The Games present an excellent opportunity to Doordarshan to use the spotlight on it to augment its revenue," she adds.

The Commonwealth Games will be aired on five channels on the DD Network - namely DD National, DD Sports, DD India, DD Bharati and DD Urdu.

Doordarshan will spend about Rs 366 crore in production, coverage and telecast of these shows. As of now, it has received the amount as a grant from the government, which it aims to repay after the games.

The revenue earned by Doordarshan during the 12 days of the Commonwealth Games telecast will have to be shared with the Commonwealth Games committee. It will have to give away 60 per cent of the revenue earned during this period as the games committee is not charging Doordarshan any money for the exclusive telecast rights.

The international telecast rights will be awarded to 12 broadcasters and Doordarshan will provide them the feed. For this, Doordarshan will also get 30 per cent of the revenue that Commonwealth Games earn through these telecast rights. The games committee has already finalised 10 broadcasters, while the last minute negotiations are being worked out with a few others.

Discussing the plans to create and increase visibility of the games, Sharma says, "We are looking at creating a special character for the games. The idea is to showcase and provide exposure to this special character (symbol) on other Hindi GECs (general entertainment channels), thereby educating people about the games. In return, we are ready to share our special programming and segments related to Commonwealth Games with the GECs free of cost."

Doordarshan is also training its staff for coverage, planning and production of the Commonwealth Games in HD (high-definition) format.

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