Star India has managed to turn around the fortunes of Vijay TV, a Tamil channel, within a year of it taking a majority stake in a joint venture from its original promoter, United Television (UTV).
According to Ajay Vidyasagar, general manager, regional channels, Star India, "Advertising rates for a 10-second slot on the channel in prime time have jumped between 700 to 1,000 per cent in this period.
While rates for a 10-second slot were around Rs 800 to Rs 1,200 about a year back, the same slots now command a rate of between Rs 7,000 and Rs 8,000."
Vidyasagar also said the increase in advertising rates have helped the company to almost double the revenues on this account in the past one year although he refused to divulge the figure.
However industry experts estimate the channel's advertising revenues to be Rs 50 crore against estimates of around Rs 25 crore a year back.
The advertising revenues for Tamil channels was Rs 170 crore to Rs 200 crore and has been growing at 20-25 per cent. While Sun has a major share of this revenue, Vijay TV, before its association with Star, had a share of just 12 per cent.
The sharp increase in Vijay TV's revenues, according to industry sources, will be at the expense of the market leader and would significantly contribute to an increase in its market share.
"The improved brand equity of the channel after its association with Star TV has helped it to add almost 350 additional clients over the past one year, taking the total number of customers advertising on the channel to around 600." Vidyasagar added.
In August Last year, the Star group and UTV formed a joint venture which in addition to providing content would also look after the distribution, advertising, sales and marketing of Vijay TV.
Vijay TV, which was launched in January 1995, has a viewership of around 8 million households in Tamil Nadu and other major metro's in India Positioned as the premiere Tamil language channel, Vijay has been ranked among the top three channel brands in Tamil Nadu.