NEW DELHI: Popular news channels in India are expected to receive a substantial revenue boost on Friday 16 May and over the weekend as voters tune in to the results and outcome of the Lok Sabha general elections.

Advertising rates for a 10-second slot during election coverage have risen as much as 20 times, from about R2 10,000 to up to Rs 2 lakh, or second only to Indian Premier League (IPL7) cricket tournament coverage, the Economic Times reported.

"Ad rates for May 16 have shot through the roof as news channels are expecting the whole country to tune in for poll results," confirmed Navin Khemka, managing partner of Zenith Optimedia in New Delhi.

He, like other advertisers, expected brands that focus on goods and services for men would dominate during the election period because Indian men tended to be more interested in politics and liked to discuss the issues in the workplace.

"Whether it's the public sector or private, the Indian workforce is still predominantly male," he said. "Election results are huge conversation starters for them since they feel it will affect them more than women."

However, as more and more women enter the workforce, he predicted a gradual shift in advertising patterns in the future.

Industry observers estimate that news channels, especially Hindi channels like ABP News, NDTV India, News Nation and Aaj Tak Tez, will have earned more in the last 15 days than what they would usually make in two months, exchange4media reported.

It is thought the top 15 news channels will earn a collective Rs 140 crore to Rs 160 crore from their election coverage alone.

Data sourced from Economic Times, exchange4media; additional content by Warc staff