The News Broadcasters Federation (NBF) has requested advertisers and advertising clients to refrain from renegotiating their advertising deals during the current period when news broadcasters are ramping up their COVID-19 coverage, despite increase in costs.
Recently, there has been a dialogue of media agencies with broadcasters in Mumbai, Delhi, and Bangalore to coerce them into bringing down the effective rate by almost 50 percent of the normal rates to accommodate them in future media plans for the next couple of months. News broadcasters across the board, including national and regional, are feeling the heat even more because of the larger economic impact due to the lockdown to contain spread of COVID-19. There are more than 200 odd channels in these regions, which scramble for a small pie of advertising from media agencies, PSUs, and the state and central governments.
Already news broadcasters are reeling under heavy operational and financial pressure, with costs increasing due to the lockdown and bare minimum support from advertising. Bringing down effective rates in current scheme of things will only worsen things, especially for regional news broadcasters, questioning their existence in the post-COVID-19 scenario.
Renegotiating and asking for deep discounts by the agencies and advertisers during this crucial time is completely unjustifiable, unviable, and counter-productive to the fraternity at a time when consumers are glued to news channels right from early morning until late night shows, which has resulted in a 251 percent increase in news channels, a historic record for the news broadcasting industry. TV consumption has reached its highest-ever growth of 43 percent in March 2020 since the Combat COVID-19, according to BARC.