- On April 4, 2019
- Published by Odisha Bytes
New Delhi: Cable channels in local languages are set to rake in the moolah this election season, as the industry expects political parties to spend around Rs 50 crore for campaigning and ads through this platform.
According to Sharad Alwe, managing director of Update Advertising, an aggregator of regional cable TV advertising across India, national and regional parties together would have spent around Rs 8-10 crore on cable networks in the recent state elections.
“In 2014, the spends on cable channels were in the range of Rs 20 crore. This year, we expect it to be around Rs 50 crore,” Alwe told exchange4media, a media portal.
The figure might be negligible by industry standards. Yet the amount means a lot for small players operating local channels. According to experts, a candidate spends anywhere between Rs 50,000 to Rs 1.5 lakh on cable channels, as part of his/her election campaign.
What is sending political parties towards local channels?
According to the industry, these channels are cost-effective. For smaller political parties, local cable channels are the only television advertising they can afford. And for bigger parties, these channels matter because of their local reach.
“Advertising in local channels is way more cost effective. For example, if a candidate is from Ponnaani in Malappuram district of Kerala, it makes sense if he reaches out to the localities of that constituency only. His advertisements would be redundant and irrelevant for other regions in Kerala,” says Krishna Kumar, consultant at Kerala Vision Channel broadcasting limited, KCBL-Cochin.
Sometimes, local cable channels replace traditional media platforms, which may not be available in a particular place. “For example, during last year’s Assembly elections in Chhattisgarh, parties used cable channels extensively to reach out to the voters. It was helpful as the terrain in the region does not support outdoor advertising to a large extent,” Alwe says.
According to Roop Sharma, president of the Cable Operators Federation of India, alongside political advertisements, there is also paid programming by political parties, which is catching on as a source of revenue for local cable channels. Political parties run content that is of just 1-3 minute duration on these channels, mostly in the language of the area they want to campaign in.
“Cable channels in local languages are relevant because they have a huge reach. Earlier, too, those were being used for campaign purpose, but sparingly. This time, however, there is concentrated effort to use the reach and hyper local nature of cable channels, where candidates can communicate in the local language and dialect, too, for that extra personal touch to connect with residents of their constituencies. Most political parties are using the medium this season,” said Naresh Arora, political strategist and director of campaign management company Design Boxed.