During the festive period, news is not looked upon too much and this year the focus is more on the Indian Premier League (IPL) and general entertainment channels (GECs).
News channels will not get weekly TV ratings for as long as 12 weeks, starting October 15, but experts say this not a big concern for the TV advertising industry as a whole.
The Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) suspended TV ratings for news channels on October 15 in order to improve its statistical robustness and to hamper the potential attempts of infiltrating the panel homes.
According to Karan Taurani, vice president at investment banking firm Elara Capital, news channels are about 12 to 14 percent share of ad inventory. “So, they won’t impact advertising in a big way,” he said.
A FICCI-EY report in 2019 also notes that news channels occupied 13 percent share last year, amounting to Rs 3,640 crore, in overall advertising volume.
Taurani further said that during the festive period, news is not looked upon too much and this year the focus is more on the Indian Premier League (IPL) and general entertainment channels (GECs).
In addition, Taurani thinks that advertisers will follow top two channels under the news category. “The smaller news channels will end up losing more. However, top channels like Aaj Tak will gain more. In fact, it will be least impacted in terms of advertising money spend.”
Since the introduction of the New Tariff Order (NTO) in January 2020, a lot of advertisers are moving towards selective advertising and budgets are getting skewed towards the top two channels in the space.
Plus, ad rates on news channels are significantly lower than GECs. A 10-second ad spot during primetime on top news channels can cost an advertiser in the range of Rs 25,000-30,000.
For the same duration, an advertiser has to shell out around Rs 3.5 lakh to advertise on the top GEC channels.
While Taurani doesn’t expect any big impact due to suspension of ratings for news channels, he still thinks that there will be negative impact on ad spends in the near term.
N Chandramouli, chief executive officer at TRA Research, a consumer analytics and brand insights company, agreed with him, saying, “This is a high ad-spend season, and advertisers do need some metric by which they can allocate their spends. With no other metric available, it does put the spend decisions in a quandary and some advertisers may reduce spending."
"One way that ad-spenders could exercise more caution is by advising their media buying companies to use a qualitative route for judging where the spend goes." Chandramouli continued.Taurani thinks that one good thing coming out of the suspension of ratings for news channels and also brands banning channels because of their toxic content is that “it will result in news channels reworking their content strategy, after which they will emerge stronger.”