After two months of a quiet dry run, Care TV, the health channel, promoted by Atul Saraf, CMD, Live Satellite Media (LSM), which specialises in all-India regional cable advertising, will be officially launched on December 11. The channel, being broadcast via a Thaicom satellite, has a footprint ranging from the Gulf to the Far East, and will be distributed by LSM, which has 1,300 multi-system operators (MSOs) affiliated to it.
"There was a gap in the marketplace for a 24-hour health channel," explains Saraf, who has hived off operations of Care TV under Take Care Pvt Ltd. "The channel is educative in nature and has a spectrum of shows dealing with a wide range of medical problems, therapies, tips and so on."
On board is a panel of doctors, who along with head of programming, Ajit Gupta, a media veteran who has worked with ZEE, Aastha and CMM, will decide on the content for the channel, states Saraf. "The concept of Care was proposed by Ajit," says Saraf, "and by January, next year, we are looking to reach 20 million households," he states.
The target for the ensuing six months is 35 million households, and to build awareness a mix of regional cable TV, print and outdoor communication will be used, he adds. "The campaign will most likely break on the day of launch and in January we will have three new shows. One, a live phone-in addressed to a panel of doctors in the studio, a women's show dealing with the period from pregnancy to childbirth and a third programme on sex and marriage counseling," states Saraf.
Meanwhile, the five-year old LSM is streamlining operations by introducing the concept of cable monitoring, to bring in greater accountability and transparency into the business. Perfect Monitoring Services has been commissioned to monitor cable transmission and generate reports on the advertisements appearing on cable channels affiliated to LSM. These reports will be made available free of cost to clients, who number around 100. "Local advertising is handled by the cable operator in that area or region," says Saraf. "We handle the corporate or national-level clients for whom transparency and accountability is a must," he adds.
The significance of cable regional TV (simply put, cable channels that carry new movies) can be gauged from the fact that it stands second only to STAR Plus in terms of all-India channel share for the month of September at 11.34 per cent while STAR Plus is 14.88 per cent and SUN TV is third at 6.7 per cent (Source: TAM Media Research quoted in Businessworld, issue dated December 15).
Most corporate clients, points Saraf, show some presence on cable regional TV, but due to operational bottlenecks in monitoring cable transmission, have refrained from making huge spends on the platform. "With monitoring coming into the picture now, the market is bound to open up," he states. Data capturing will start on January 1, 2004, with the first set of records to be generated by January 20, 2004, on the net. Subsequently, information will be updated dynamically on the net with the help of over 225 control rooms spread across 70 locations in the country.
"Apart from advertisers, cable operators are bound to gain from the process," points Saraf. "With increased ad spends, the entire mechanism benefits," he adds. © 2003 agencyfaqs!