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DTH cos create more advertising space
NEW DELHI: With the Direct-to-home (DTH) subscriber base touching 25-million household mark, DTH service providers such as Dish TV are wooing advertisers by selling spots on their home screens or integrating ads in various value-added services. Home screen is the default channel that can be seen by a consumer when she/he switches on the set-top-box (STB) before flipping to their favourite channels. In recent times, PepsiCo, for instance, used DTH service providers to air its long format advertisements showcasing Frito-Lay brand ambassador Saif Ali Khan interviewing the potato chips brand lovers while liquor brand Seagrams picked up spots to show clips of its advertisements as well as sponsored parties.

Buoyed by the advertisers response, market leader Dish TV, which has over 8 million subscribers, has roped in a digital ad sales company Qasar as its executive sales partner to identify prospective brands. “ Advertisers are warming up to the idea of advertising on Dish TV. We expect nearly 5% of the overall revenues to come from advertising in the next two years ,” said Salil Kapoor, chief operating officer, Dish TV. With 33 million households to be DTH subscriber by the end of the year, representing a third of the total cable and satellite homes, Mr Kapoor believes advertisers cannot ignore the medium as television viewership is getting highly fragmented.

On the other hand, other players like Tata Sky and Big TV have experimented with integrating brands with their value-added services like pay-per view. “ We have experimented with certain consumer durable and FMCG brands which got their advertisements integrated with our services such as cooking and recipes or learning English,” says Vikram Mehra chief marketing officer, Tata Sky.

Tata Sky offers brands advertising on its home screen for about 5.5-6 hours. Brands like Bajaj Allianz have used Tata Sky to address potential insurance buyers by integrating itself in a value- added services.

DTH companies are either working on fixed rates for longer format advertisements or creating 20-30 second slots on their home screen for potential advertisers. Umesh Rao, senior vicepresident, Big TV says that several regional advertisers are also coming on board. Besides, broadcaster are using these opportunities to woo subscribers to their new programmes by showcasing their clips on the home screen. Media planners like Dentsu Media’s COO, Sai Nagesh said that currently most DTH households are affluent, brands have a potential medium to reach out to these consumers in a targeted manner.

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