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Prabhu sets 88.5% operating ratio for 2015-16, best in 9 yrs

In a first step towards a complete turnaround in finances of railways in India, The government on Thursday set an ambitious target of capping the operating ratio of the investment-starved Indian Railways at a 9-year low of 88.5% for 2015-16.

business Updated: Feb 27, 2015 00:11 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Rail Budget,Railway Minister,Suresh Prabhu

The Union Budget 2015-16 is driving most of the action on television, with news channels selling their commercial time at highest-ever rates.

Thanks to the huge rush of brands which have booked ad slots for budget-based programmes across news channels, the rates are 10 times higher than normal.

According to industry experts, since this would be first full budget of the new government, riding on the promise of “achchhe din,” it is expected to grab immense eyeballs on February 28, the day it is presented in Parliament.

“We have sold sponsorships across networks where clients have bought advertising inventory by paying prices almost 3 to 10 times compared to an average day rate,” said Ashok Venkatramani, chief executive officer, ABP News Network. “Also from the last budget, rates are almost three times. Our all spots are sold in advance.”

All news channels including Headlines Today, Aaj Tak, NDTV, India News echoed similar trend.

“Budget Aajtak was the most definitive roundtable on the budget,” said Ashish Bagga, Group CEO, India Today Group. “It saw immense traction from viewers and advertisers alike.”

“Usually, the ad rates for a 10 second spot are between Rs 10,000 to Rs 15,000,” another media buyer said requesting anonymity. “However, channels sold inventory for 15 days, 10 days before budget and five days (on and) post budget where prices have exceeded Rs 1 lakh to 1.5 lakh.

“Brands are leveraging budget-based programmes to reach out to varied audience such as stakeholders in financial world,” said Navin Khemka, managing partner, Maxus, Group M media.

Binani Cement, Glaxo SmithKline, SBI, Orient Electricals, MTS India are buying ad slots across news channels among others.

"Looking at the budget week, there is no doubt there is an added interest within the masses with the new government in place," said Amitesh Rao, director, brand and media, MTS India. "We have gone an extra mile to pre-book strategic ad placements across news channels to cover all facets of the budget, be it analysis, highlights and post analysis."

First Published: Feb 26, 2015 23:00 IST