Friday, September 07, 2007

Mallya boost for NDTV Good Times

Vijay Mallya’s UB Group is set to announce a five-year advertisement commitment worth Rs 100 crore to NDTV’s forthcoming lifesytle channel, NDTV Good Times.

The contours of the deal suggest that the the liquor-to-airline group’s mascot, the Kingfisher bird, will also be woven in the channel’s identity. The details of the deal will jointly be announced by UB Group Chairman Vijay Mallya and NDTV Chairman Prannoy Roy in the city tomorrow.

Insiders say this is a win-win situation for both the companies. While NDTV has ensured funding, the UB Group will now have a platform to ensure brand recall. Under the rules in the country, advertisement of liquor is not permitted. “Also, you cannot get a better person than Mallya, who is dubbed as the king of good times, to get associated with a lifestyle brand,” said a source.

However, sources said Mallya would not acquire any stake in the channel as it was widely speculated.

The lifestyle channel will be launched in September followed by Metronation, the city-specific lifestyle channels for Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata, covering lifestyle, entertainment and news. To begin with the channels will be free-to-air. Last week, in an interview with Business Standard, Smeeta Chakrabarty, the CEO for NDTV’s lifestyle channel, had said, “It is the first Indian lifestyle channel with world-class programming for the global and urban Indian. It’s a channel which answers all your questions from food to travel, leisure to gadgets, marriages to parenthood,” and wellness to parties.” She added that through these channels NDTV intended to tap a chunk of the local advertisements that are currently controlled by the print media.


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