Dec 27, 2008

Mktg - Dish TV plans to introduce advertising options

Sumantha Rathore

Dish TV, the direct to home (DTH) wing of Zee Network, is in the initial phase of discussions to exploit the advertising potential of its platform. Dish TV is eyeing a new stream of revenue and plans to make use of various services and slots for advertising in order to reach out to potential customers.

Talking to afaqs!, Salil Kapoor, chief operating officer, Dish TV, says, “Our subscriber base has reached a critical mass. At this stage, we are seeing this as an important revenue stream. Our viewership is around 25 million, which is higher than that of many other players, including print, television and portals. With number authentication now happening through industry bodies, this space is getting a lot of attention from the advertising community.”

Though Dish TV has not made any pitches for the service, it is planning to exploit sales opportunities at various levels.

For example, advertisements can be flashed on its exclusive proprietary channels, including the six movie-on-demand channels and the default landing interactive channel, 999. Branding opportunities on the interactive services such as News Active, Sports Active, Games Active, Bhakti Active, Astro Active and many other services are in the pipeline. In addition, there are branding opportunities on its electronic programme guide, and interactive advertising.

Dish TV already has an exclusive service for ICICI Bank and its products and services, called ICICI Active.

Kapoor says, “Dish TV, with a close to 50 per cent market share, is in a good position to create benchmarks and open up business in this vertical. It's an uncluttered medium where the possibility of your product getting lost is zero.”

He adds, “All the advertising can be supplemented with subscriber interactivity in terms of focused SMSes and email campaigns to our subscribers. We have just identified this space and a lot of work has to be done on it.”

Dish TV recently bagged the non-exclusive rights for the Hindi film, Oye Lucky, Lucky Oye, for a period of four weeks. It has also got the rights for the Hindi film, Oh My God, as well as the rights for several other new releases in the next three months.

Kapoor says that he hopes that apart from presenting sponsorships, a combination of spots and branding across the movie-on-demand channels, interactive channels and active services can be bundled and sold to various brands.

He says that in the last few months, Dish TV has been approached by various advertisers, including FMCG, consumer electronics and automobile players, who are keen to explore advertising options on this platform. Dish TV wants to bring national players on board for this advertising opportunity.

For the record, Dish TV offers a content bouquet of 225 channels and services, and is ramping up its capacity to offer 400 channels. It also provides live television on Kingfisher Airlines flights, and cars, buses, yachts, ships and railways

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