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WillKat for India: the wedding ball for eyeballs

Britain's royal wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton maybe a far away event, but a colonial legacy is not stopping eager Indians from making it a big TV event. Himani Chandna Gurtoo reports.

world Updated: Apr 22, 2011 11:45 IST
Himani Chandna Gurtoo

Britain's royal wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton maybe a far away event, but a colonial legacy is not stopping eager Indians from making it a big TV event.

The WillKat wedding is on at TLC, one of the six channels from Discovery Networks that caters to over 31 million homes in India.

"We have deployed a team of technicians as the channel is not identified with live transmissions, and this is the best opportunity to show our expertise to the Indian audience," said Rahul Johri, senior vice-president and general manager (India) at Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific.

The channel has kicked off an 8-day special programme centered around the royal family and the wedding. The wedding's live telecast will be hosted by Clinton Kelly of What Not To Wear, Randy Fenoli of Say Yes to the Dress and Amanda Byram.

Brands including, Volkswagen India, Pond's from Hindustan Unilever Ltd, Nestle India, Tanishq, PepsiCo and many others have already booked ad slots.

"We are getting tremendous response from the sponsors and by now, we have already sold out the slots," Johri said.

Media buyers say the ad rates are reasonable since TLC is looking to capitalise on visibility with the event.

Advertisers need to pay total of R40 lakh for taking up the sponsorship rights for the series of 7-day event (excluding repeat telecast). Of this, R10 lakh will buy an airtime of 1,000 seconds across the event including the wedding day. The rest will be used for running advertisements during various other programmes.

The channel declined to comment on spot ad rates.