Business Today

Waiting to be discovered

Why aren't advertisers excited about Discovery's #1 status?

By Shamni Pande        Print Edition: Sept 23, 2007

There's some good news and bad news for Discovery Channel. The good news is that, starting January this year, it has climbed to the top of the heap as far some genres are concerned (that includes movies, music, entertainment, infotainment and English news). The bad news is that advertisers seem reluctant to pay rates commensurate with the infotainment channel's new status. According to media buyers such as Sundar Raman, Managing Director of MindShare, news channels command between Rs 2,100 and Rs 3,000 for 10-second spots, while Discovery gets between Rs 1,000 and Rs 1,500.

Why won't advertisers pay more to be on Discovery? "The kind of person watching news is different from the one watching movies and other infotainment channels and the other big difference is that people come back for fresh updates on news channels very often," says Punitha Arumugam, Group CEO, Madison Media. Deepak Shourie, EVP & Managing Director, Discovery Networks India, says that's a fallacy. "Advertisers are gradually realising the higher value that Discovery Channel offers vis-à-vis news channels. It will take some time to change perceptions and for us to command the rates that we rightfully deserve," he says.

Some advertisers such as Acer, AIG, Audi, Fidelity, Kelloggs, Park Avenue, CavinKare and Toshiba are taking note. "Discovery's rates, if it consistently delivers could settle at Rs 3,000 for a 10 second spot," reckons Raman of MindShare. That should be music to Shourie's ears, but convincing media buyers to pay double the rates won't happen easily or early.

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