MTV India wins blue chip sponsors with local content

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BOMBAY -- A resurgent MTV India has bagged Procter & Gamble Home Products, Nestle India and Frito-Lay India as sponsors for three new programs that will air on one of India's most popular music channels.

P&G will push Head & Shoulders shampoo and Nestle its Kit Kat chocolate brand as co-sponsors of "MTV Birthday Bumps", a monthly one-hour special dedicated to famous Indian and international icons whose birthdays will be celebrated by playing their requests without VJ interruptions.

Frito-Lay will promote its Lay's potato chips on "MTV Top Gana", a daily series that airs a music videos with potential to make the local or international hit lists. Viewers will be enticed by contests based on songs that are printed on a Lay's chips packet.

"MTV launched `Apna Artist of the Month,' followed by `MTV Hot Seat' and 'MTV Top Gana,' all of which were unique concepts," says Programming Director Mishal Varma. "With `MTV Birthday Bumps,' MTV gives birth to yet another innovative method of showcasing the youth's favorite Indian and international stars."

The 24-hour music service claims an Indian viewership of 9.5 million homes, owed largely to its recognition that Indians prefer mostly to see local videos. The existing repertoire comprises 70% Indian music and 30% international, yielding the channel a list of more than 25 advertisers.

Copyright October 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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