For years Zee TV has ruled the audience with their popular show, ‘Khana Khazana’. What’s more, they even launched an exclusive channel, Zee Khana Khazana, in December 2010.
However, the year 2011, ended on a different note. The year saw stiff competition for NDTV Good Times and Khana Khazana from new players like Sanjeev Kapoor’s FoodFood channel and TLC.
According to TAM data released for 2011, FoodFood ruled the charts, beating NDTV Good Times on the ratings front. Zee Khana Khazana did well initially, but couldn’t match up to the onslaught by FoodFood.
Anindya Ray, VP, Lodestar UM, remarked that FoodFood channel’s ratings did not say much about how perceptible niche channels were with the Indian audience since TAM ratings were not suited to measure niche channels the way general entertainment channels were. He said, “India is not ready and needs to warm up to the idea of having niche channels for food.”
At the same time, Ray felt India was warming up to such channels like TLC, and shows like ‘MasterChef India’, which had done well. He added, “Star World has MasterChef Australia, which has done well. If you see, TLC has done a lot of shows during Christmas. A complete niche channel will take time to make a landmark. Future is good, but it will take time. The ratings of FoodFood and NDTV Good Times should not be a reason to gauge. TAM is not geared to ideally showcase the power of niche channels. You won’t get 3 per cent or 4 per cent ratings like a GEC does.” He further pointed out that the genre hadn’t grown nor had it reached saturation point where a channel started eating into other channels’ share.
“If you have a good programme, people would follow it. If other channels fail, it would be because of the content,” he added.
Agreeing with this, Amin Lakhani, Principal Partner, Mindshare, said, “People are coming up with newer content and that is good. In 2011, so many channels had a poor start; it is the content and distribution that decide a channel’s performance. You can’t compare FoodFood and NDTV Good Times as both have different content. I expect the channels to show good and relevant content in the year 2012.”
Commenting on the future trends that he would like to see in this segment, Lakhani said, “In 2012, I would like to see how these channels cater to different segments. India is a big country and it has plenty of food, so it is difficult to settle everywhere. Either you would be a good North Indian or South Indian food channel.”
Meanwhile, reacting to his channel’s success, Sanjeev Kapoor, MD, FoodFood, said, “I am very happy that this happened. We believed that our channel would be the best, and it happened.”
He affirmed that one needed to have a deep understanding about the category. “It is not cricket or a music channel. You need to understand food and need to think like a foodie for your channel to work. Have passion for food and you will do well,” he advised.
The year of 2012 could see food and lifestyle channels firming base and getting greater acceptance from the Indian audience.