Cost of advertising on TV in India, and how can you advertise on a budget – Amagi MIX

Over quite some time, we received this query from multiple corners of India, and a majority of these are from first-time television advertisers.

So today, we help you demystify the biggest challenge which an advertiser faces when he decides to advertise on TV.


Television in India is by far the largest medium in terms of reach. TV incidentally from a cost per reach perspective is the cheapest media not just because of a volume of viewers but also the most expensive because of the volume. The reach of TV is far more than required. And therefore, eliminating spillage and wastage is one of the biggest challenges of TV.

Therefore geo-targeting on television is one of the boons for advertisers, as it not only helps television to become more affordable but also enables optimised reach to relevant audience thus eliminating spill over. So instead of paying for one 10 sec spot on Zee TV which will be aired nationally all over India, with geo-targeting one can buy the same 10 sec ad spot only for a specific region ( say Delhi, Mumbai or UP etc..) at a much lesser cost.

The Indian television advertising space is complex. With restrictions set by the governing body (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India – TRAI), a broadcaster can only share 12 minutes of their airtime every hour for commercial promotions.

So, what does this do? With commercial airtime restricted, broadcasters across different genres such as Sports, Music, News, GEC etc. must decide their rates for the 12 minutes as there is a need gap demand in terms of making revenues and the space allotted vs the quality of content aired and the airtime slots (prime, matinee, morning, etc.). In fact, during the India Pakistan finals at the Oval in London, a 10 seconds advertisement spot on Star Sports stood at INR 3,50,000/-. Yes, it did! But where it justified the pricing was, that the match was watched by over 200 million TV viewers, which roughly translated to INR 2/- per 1000 viewers. Not a bad deal for advertisers who have the financial muscle to pull it up with even 30-second ads, multiple times.

Hence among all these, how does an entrepreneur, a start-up business or a business entity based across a region advertise on TV in India, when the atmosphere is competitively spread over 800+ television channels

Determining your business category

It’s very important for one to identify the category of their business. For many, mass TV advertising might not work in the best interest, if their business requirement is for a niche audience. i.e. Educational institutions usually advertise during the period of January – March and prefer advertising on GEC, regional channels etc. whereas the Automobile sector looks towards auspicious festival advertising on sports & news channels for the year-end sales push. Similarly, companies in the travel, tourism, and hospitality advertise during the summer and winter vacations, where the demand-supply ratio is expected to rise high on lifestyle channels


Picking the right season for TV advertising is very crucial. This helps one with increasing their audience reach a price suitable for their TV advertising budget. i.e. Advertising in the last minute during a festive season will ensure higher prices, clutter and limited audience viewership, whereas advertising during off-seasons such as (May, June, July, and November), will help one fetch better rates if it falls relevant to their business strategy.


It’s critical for one to set their expectations before going all out on their TV advertising plan. Determining the key factors such as ROI, objective etc. helps one keep a check on planning their media budgets annually. As this is critical, we advise one to create their media mix on Amagi MIX, where one gets a recommended set of channels, based on current rates, ad spot inventory availability, competition mapping and popularity of channels across regions. You can view the demo right here:

Genre and Channel Selection

Selections of channels across genres such as sports, music, lifestyle is way more economical and targeted than a mass market advertisement on GEC (general entertainment channel) or news. For a first-time advertiser, it’s advisable to be selective in considering these channels as they cost lesser. i.e. An average 10 seconds cost for advertising on ZOOM TV across Maharashtra & Goa would cost around INR 500/-, while the same on a GEC channel like Colors Mumbai, would approximately cost over INR 6600/-. Also, these rates climb up on a cost of 1.5X for 15 seconds, 3X for 30 seconds and 6X for a 60 seconds commercial.

Bulk Booking Inventory

Booking your annual requirement in bulk across various channels, shows or time bands can help you get a good deal. The negotiated discounts here could be in the range of 15% – 25%. Many MNC’s across India prefer buying bulk inventory to get a better ratio of cost per impression. If you wish to know more about how you can save on bulk deals, write back to us on

LMI’s or Last-Minute Deals

Sometimes, across certain shows or time slots, the ad inventory remains unsold. This can happen due to various factors and can be your best bet to get your TV advertising started. i.e. Amagi MIX usually announces these deals in the 1st week of the month, where discount range between 20% – 50% for pan India advertising inventory on channels such as Zee Network. Here, you could buy 70 (10 sec) spots on Zee Cinema for only INR 26,000/- which will be played across North East India. To know more about such lucrative deals, you can log on to

So, are you ready take your brand across regions and to new customers on a diet? To know more about cost-effective TV advertising solution, log on to or follow us on