Sahara One to increase ad rates by 30 per cent

By Anindita Sarkar , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Media Publishing | August 24, 2011
The increased ad rates will come into effect from September 1, 2011.

Sahara One, the Hindi GEC from the Sahara bouquet, has decided to increase its ad rates by as much as 30 per cent for a 10-second spot. The increased ad rates will come into force from September 1, 2011.

Aidem is the exclusive ad sales representative for the Sahara bouquet of entertainment and movie channels. Commenting on the rate increase, Vikas Khanchandani, director, Aidem Ventures, says, "Sahara has been showing a steady growth in performance across all parameters including content, reach and GRPs, resulting in increased advertiser attention and demand, thus justifying a rate hike."

For the record, the channel's GRP grew from 31 in Week 29 to 36 GRPs in Week 33 (TAM, C&S 4+ HSM). Its channel share, meanwhile, grew from 2.4 per cent to 2.9 per cent during the same period.

The channel eventually aims to consolidate its position as the top player within the second-tier bracket in the next 18 months, for which it is investing heavily in content to up its viewership quotient.

"Mythology-based shows have already worked for the channel well -- be it the long-running Mata Ki Chowki, or the recently added Jai Jai Jai Bajrangbali and Kahani Chandrakanta Ki, the top-rated show currently for Sahara One," notes Gunjan Rege Karkera, business head, broadcast media (entertainment), Aidem Ventures. "This genre, therefore, will continue to be the area of focus to build upon," she adds.

However, the channel also intends to experiment with new varieties of fiction genres in the next six months, and in due course, boost its original programming (presently 5.5 hours of original programming) in a bid to get in more advertisers on board. The channel has already launched a fresh daily soap Neem Neem Shahad Shahad this week, and plans to introduce another new fiction property to the line-up within the next two months.

"The idea is to offer a healthy dose of drama, comedy, mythology, and fiction-based shows to our viewers. The channel management has been proactively working towards presenting a wholesome family entertainment mix. New shows have been received well by audiences, attracting both existing and lapsed advertisers," says Karkera.

The top advertisers currently playing in the channel kitty include HUL, P&G, Godrej, Dabur, Paras and Hero Moto Corp, amongst others.

Interestingly, as Sahara One gears up to increase its gamble on content, the battle ground in Tier II seems to be warming up. Sony's sibling channel SAB TV, which also leads the second rung GEC bracket, has been performing steadily and adding new flavours to its line-up to sustain its growth and reach 200 GRPs by the end of this financial year.

Industry sources state that the approximate primetime effective rate for 10-seconders on the channel is approximately Rs 12,000 while the average 10-seconder rate across other parts in the day is Rs 3,500-4,000. Compare this to Sahara One, where the average 10-second rate for the channel is priced between Rs 1,500-Rs 2,000.

Imagine TV (now a Turner channel), meanwhile, continues to command rates in the region of Rs 4,000-Rs 4,500, despite a fall in its ratings as compared to its initial days. And STAR One, STAR Network's second GEC, which continues to wage a neck-to-neck war with Sahara One in terms of channel share and GRPs, in a bid to have mass appeal, is getting ready to get a complete makeover in its content and positioning. Therefore, for Sahara One to move up the ladder, it has to get aggressive in its content, that is, if it intends to rule the roost in due course.

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