Broadcast company New Delhi Television Ltd (NDTV) which beams channels such as NDTV Profit, NDTV India and NDTV 24*7 has ended its ad sales union with television network Star India, proving once again that most ad sales marriages in the Indian broadcast sector are short-lived. NDTV had announced in March 2011 that it was entering into an ad sales agreement with Star India for these three channels. An official note released by NDTV said that Uday Shankar, chief executive, Star India and Kevin Vaz, executive vice president, ad sales, Star India, had worked very closely with the network to build an excellent relationship. But as envisioned earlier, NDTV will take its sales and marketing destiny into its own hands and the transition process has already begun. This will ensure close integration with a number of fresh initiatives that NDTV is launching. The network did not specify what these were.
A strong connection with Star will remain including strategic coordination on cross platform sales and marketing. The current Star sales team that was working on the NDTV channels will be transferred to NDTV, the statement added. “Working together with Star has been a great experience. We have developed a close professional relationship and plan to retain close ties at a strategic level,” Prannoy Roy, executive co-chairperson at NDTV, said. Star India’s Shankar said that he and Roy shared a great relationship. “Star and NDTV (and Prannoy and I) share a deep relationship. It was always meant to be a short-term arrangement to enable NDTV to make a successful transition. Now that the team is ready and NDTV wishes to take charge of its own destiny, we are happy to pass on the baton and wish this great brand continued success.” said Shankar.
Advertising sales tie-ups are not new to broadcast, though these may be restricted to some of the smaller broadcast firms. Aidem Ventures, an independent media consulting, marketing and ad sales firm was recently appointed as the media represenative of Get Punjabi, a regional channel. It also holds the ad sales mandate for Tamil channel Jaya TV, and GETIT which originally pioneered the concept of Yellow Pages in India and now has transformed into an integrated digital media organisation specialising in local search and classifieds. For the record, before NDTV’s mandate was given to Star, it was handled by the same Aidem Ventures.
Smita Jha, leader- entertainment and media practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers India