Marketing review news
25 May 2006

Ten Sports in tie up with Zee for French Open
Ten Sports and Zee Sports have reached an agreement to broadcast live the forthcoming French Open. According to the agreement, both broadcasters will broadcast the tournament and Ten Sports will market it.

All finals will be shown exclusively live on Zee Sports, while Ten Sports beams in the West Indies vs India cricket series.

Delhi-Mumbai calls on par with local calls
The state-owned Mahanagar Telephone Nigam (MTNL) has dropped STD charges between Delhi and Mumbai to a local tariff at Rs1.20 for a three-minute call. The move will benefit MTNL's 38 lakh fixed line subscribers, who at present pay Rs1.90 per minute for a Delhi-Mumbai call. The new rates will come into effect from June 1.

The drop in tariffs is a result of a tie-up with Videsh Sanchar Nigam Ltd (VSNL) for leasing out national long distance infrastructure. Until now, MTNL routed its STD traffic between Delhi and Mumbai through Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd's network.

While Tata-managed VSNL will benefit with additional revenues from carrying 12 million minutes of STD traffic generated by MTNL subscribers every year between Delhi and Mumbai, BSNL will loose out on this lucrative sector.

MTNL which pays huge carriage charges to BSNL therefore, decided to partner with VSNL, which was offering better commercial terms. MTNL is expected to save Rs12 crore a year as a result of its partnership with VSNL in comparison to the cost incurred, while routing the STD calls through BSNL. MTNL has also floated a tender for other sectors across the country.

SpiceJet's Rs99 offer gets good response
SpiceJet received a overwhelming response to its Rs99 per seat offer for 21,000 seat as a part of its first anniversary celebrations. All the 21,000 seats were seen to be sold by the evening.

Ajay Singh, Director, SpiceJet, said, "SpiceJet has received a huge response to its anniversary offer today with over 55 million hits on the Web site, which is unprecedented and was beyond expectations. The response was so huge that the entire booking process on internet was affected and slowed down. However, the call centre was normal."

SpiceJet, while appreciating the huge response from its customers, regretted that many customers could not avail the offer due to over booking.

TTK Prestige declared a Superbrand
Superbrands India an independent company on valuation of brands has declared Prestige a `Superbrand' in the Kitchen Appliances category. The company is celebrating its `Superbrand' status by announcing two new retail formats based on lifestyle concept for high-end domestic electric products such as dishwasher, kitchen chimneys and hobs for gas stoves and a rural format store to market TTK Group's consumer products.

The two concepts — Lifestyle Kitchen Solutions and Rural Format Stores — would be launched soon after their pilots were perfected. Lifestyle Solutions pilot would be launched in Bangalore soon, while a pilot of Rural Format retail outlet is already running in Namakkal in Tamil Nadu. T T Jagannathan, chairman of TTK Group, said.

TTK Prestige in its quest to emerge as a complete kitchen solutions company has launched 150 new products in pressure cooker and cookware ranges in the last two years. The new lifestyle retail formats was an effort to leverage its strong brand strength.

The company is setting up 100 more outlet of Prestige Smart Kitchen stores this year. The Lifestyle Kitchen Solutions stores would be different from the Smart Kitchen and rural retail format.

Britannia launches Marie variant
Mumbai: Britannia Industries has launched Marie Gold Doubles-a three-layered Marie with the double taste of orange and chocolate. The new variant is priced on par with the existing Marie Gold brand (Rs15 for 150gm of 30 biscuits), Marie Gold Doubles is positioned on the taste platform.

According to the company the Marie category is the fastest growing one in biscuits today. It is the next popular product after glucose in the biscuits category. Having test-marketed its new Marie variant in the southern markets for the past one year, Britannia expects its product to move away from being `bland and boring' with its new orange and chocolate flavour.

Nokia takes to street football
New Delhi: Nokia India plans to host a national level `Futsal' challenge, a freestyle football tournament that will provide budding football stars in the country an opportunity to match their skills against leading `Futsal' players from Brazil.

The challenge titled `Defend Your Turf' will be played out in, Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Kolkata and would be a five-a-side street football tournament and will culminate in the Indian national champions defending their turf against the players from Brazil. The tournament will be open to all Indian citizens between the age of 15 and 25.

According to company officials, "At Nokia we are committed to connecting people and with `Defend Your Turf' we are aiming to connect the Indian youth through their shared passions and desire to take on big challenges and achieve great accomplishments."

The captain of the Indian team will be Baichung Bhutia, while Xande will captain the Brazilian side. The challenge would be executed in three phases. In the first phase, it will try and engage the public by creating awareness about the event through newspapers, radio, television and the Internet.

The second phase will have the city level matches. The first city level match will be held in Bangalore on June 7 and 8. In the third phase the finals would be played in Kolkata on June 17.

Airtel offers music video downloads
New Delhi: Airtel has achieved more than 75 million music downloads including `Hello Tunes' as well as ringtones of all forms including MP3, truetones, polytones and monotones, according to the company. It also announced that it would start offering customers, `Full Music' and `Full Music Video Downloads', service priced at Rs 20 and Rs 30, respectively which would be available over 26 mobile phone models.

Soundbuzz, a leading digital music company, has partnered with Airtel to bring the service to over 20 million customers.

New financial magazine hits stands
iSpeak, a new monthly financial magazine, dedicated to the insurance, industry and investment industry has been launched here. The 76-page magazine has been published by Infowings Publications and was released by the director, AP Gas Power Corporation, M Gopalakrishna.

TV18 launches home shopping channel
Television Eighteen India Ltd (TV18) has launch the country's first fully integrated Home Shopping Network (HSN) in the Indian market.

According to a news release, "The TV18 HSN will leverage the TV18 Network of 5 channels and 6 Internet properties." The company has secured initial funding from SAIF Partners, a leading Asian private equity fund.

"The company and SAIF are committed to this initiative through its various lifecycle stages — and intend to make this initiative the number one home shopping channel and online venture in India,'' added the news release. The organised shopping market is expected to become a $30-35 billion opportunity by 2010.

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