High on eyeballs, DD rates for CWG ceremony zoom

New Delhi, Oct 12 (Calcutta Tube) Having tasted spectacular success with the Commonwealth Games (CWG) opening ceremony, national broadcaster Doordarshan (DD) has hiked advertising rates for the Oct 14 closing ceremony by over 160 percent and expects total revenue from the mega event to ‘definitely cross’ $22 million.

The spot buy rates have been hiked from Rs.90,000 ($2,040) to Rs.250,000 ($5,660) for a 10 second slot and these be may enhanced further, Aruna Sharma, director general, Doordarshan, told IANS.

Doordarshan’s own initial assessment based on the estimates of audience measurement agencies had put the number of TV homes in the country that watched the opening ceremony Oct 3 at over 87 million.

Sharma said the CWG sports events were also drawing advertisers as audience ratings were very good.

‘Advertisers have come to Games other than cricket. Doordarshan has done a yeoman’s service in getting them attracted,’ Sharma said.

She said the advertisers who had put their publicity plans on hold due to negative coverage in the media and had missed out on the opening ceremony had now started coming.

‘The opening ceremony put all apprehensions to rest. The event was telecast for the first time in high definition and the images were fantastic. The whole world is happy with the TV coverage,’ Sharma said.

The closing ceremony, which would have a display of martial arts, will use a helicopter for shots outside the stadium, she said. There will be 38 cameras panning all across the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, including those on the aerostat.

She said the advertisement revenue from the Games will ‘definitely cross’ Doordarshan’s initial estimate of Rs.100 crore ($22 million).

Sharma rejected criticism of the opening ceremony telecast being staggered due to advertisements. ‘That is the practice. The film awards, reality shows, all have advertisements.Doordarshan is being singled out as it is a public broadcaster. All rights holding broadcasters of the Games (for foreign countries) have also shown advertisements.’

She said one of the mandates of DD is to earn revenue and it was wrong to term the telecast of the opening ceremony as deferred.

‘It is live telecast and not a deferred telecast. Only a particular moment gets pushed ahead,’ she said, adding that the time marking start of the event is not brought forward.

Sharma said DD will consult the event managers so that the advertisements during the closing ceremony are inserted smoothly.

With the opening ceremony still being talked about, Sharma said Doordarshan will re-telecast it on ‘a good weekend’ and market it separately. It will also bring out DVDs of the ceremony.

DD also has plans to use the Games software at its disposal and telecast special programmes after the event including medal moments and record breaking feats by Indian athletes.

Sharma said the telecast of the Games was a valuable experience for the DD as it helped the staff sharpen its technical skills.

Doordarshan, which is the rights holding broadcaster for India, is telecasting the Games in both high definition and standard definition format.

A new channel – DD HD – is telecasting the event in high definition format while DD Sports is providing round-the-clock transmission on standard format. DD National, DD Urdu, DD Bharti, DD News and regional channels are also telecasting Games-related events.

Doordarshan is also producing 30-minute highlights every day, focusing on the performance of Indian athletes.

(Prashant Sood can be contacted at prashant.s@ians.in)

-Indo-Asian News Service


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