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Channels use teleshopping to boost revenues

Nithya Subramanian

New Delhi , Dec. 27

IF you are an insomniac and spend the wee hours of the night channel surfing, all that you are likely to get is various teleshopping companies trying to sell products. And channels such as Star Plus seem to be adding some more of such programming.

According to data provided by research agency TAM India, across all channels teleshopping programmes were aired for 874.3 hours in September alone. This went up to 899.5 hours in October and touched 936.1 hours the following month. So you have Tellybrands, Asian Sky Shop, QVC, Shop 24 Seven and some others operating in the country, with most of them boasting of foreign collaborations.

Airing teleshopping shows on channels is a good commercial proposition for broadcasters. "These shows are aired at dead time, which is either late in the night or during late morning-early afternoon periods when there is really not much viewership. We have to pay production companies for television serials, but we get paid for airing teleshopping programmes. It provides content as well as money," said a Star India official. The channel has only recently started airing these shows and is hoping to make a few crores each year from them.

Industry sources said that the rates of teleshopping programmes vary from channel to channel. It could be as high as Rs 50,000 for a half-hour slot on Star Plus and could be just Rs 3,000-Rs 5,000 for a slot on regional or cable channels.

So even as television channels are raking in the moolah by airing shopping shows, the teleshopping business as a whole does not seem to be doing so well, just yet. Mr Markand Adhikari, Managing Director, Sri Adhikari Brothers (SAB TV), said, "Internationally teleshopping is big business. In India, these companies must be seeing revenue potential. Otherwise why should they spend money on TV channels?"

"Teleshopping as a concept is at a very nascent stage in India and people still prefer the touch and feel concept. Ours is a full-fledged teleshopping channel started two years back. Earlier the channel was satellite delivered, but now it is delivered through cable," said an official from the Hinduja Group that runs Shop 24 Seven.

Others such as Telebrands claim to have a tie-up with Telebrands, US. While, most of the products are directly sourced from within the country, some of them are imported.

These shopping networks are also hoping to make a foray into other South Asian markets through television. Asian Sky Shop, which has a strong media presence on the Zee network, claims that this has enabled it to reach out to the international market, especially Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan.

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