The Bangla satellite space has seen an interesting story unfold in the year 2006. While leader in the space, ETV Bangla, has maintained a high position in the market in the year, Zee Bangla, too, has done quite well for itself. The beginning of the year saw Zee Bangla fighting at the No. 3 slot with a 10 per cent share, where No. 2 – Aakaash Bangla – had almost 35-40 per cent share of the market. However, with the year about to end, Zee Bangla has been able to establish itself in the No. 2 position.
Whether it was the idea to take tried and tested properties of Zee TV like the ‘Sa Re Ga Ma Pa’ series or quick changes on the channel in terms of replacing non-delivering content with new content coupled with marketing push, the approach that the channel has taken is showing in the numbers.
TAM Media Research shows that for the C&S 4+ in the all Bangla market for Zee Bangla, April 2006 started with 117 GRPs, which touched an all time high of 325 GRPs in week 49. The last eight weeks have seen the channel steadily grow in terms of ratings, moving from a 6 plus to a 10 plus channel share. ‘Sa Re Ga Ma Pa’ has worked its magic for Zee Bangla as well. The show opened at a 9 TVR and delivered a reach of 17.3 per cent.
Speaking on the channel’s performance, Zee Bangla’s Nitin Vaidya said, “The strategy that we adopted in the last six months has now started paying off. We concentrated on two elements – building the reach for Zee Bangla, earlier the market was skewed towards ETV Bangla and the Hindi belt, and we worked a lot on our content and marketing.”
Vaidya further said that under the guidance of Zee Bangla’s Business Head, Rajib Chatterjee, the channel removed non-delivering shows, and May 2006 onwards saw some performing content on the channel. In this regard, Chatterjee mentioned ‘Shona Bouthan’, which launched in May 2006 and took the slot from a 0.3 rating to a 3 plus rating. “This gave the opportunity to sample the channel better as new eyeballs came on the channel and we launched a programme in the prime time called ‘Khela’ in July. The marketing for these were done across mediums – Zee Network, radio, and outdoor – and we saw better numbers. Then we launched ‘Raatbhar Drishti’ in September, followed by ‘Chora Bali’ in November.”
Chatterjee maintained that these shows played their role in bringing numbers to Zee Bangla and then the channel launched ‘Sa Re Ga Ma Pa’ on December 4, 2006. He said, “‘Sa Re Ga Ma Pa’ delivered a reach of 17 per cent, which is unheard of in the Bengal market by any channel whatsoever. It is very clear that these numbers have come from competition.”
Vaidya said, “We launched the show in the tough 10.30 pm time band and it paid off.” Another show that worked for the channel is ‘Mira Kkel’ and the channel is already geared for two more launches in the coming months – ‘Aerao Shatru’, which is slated for a January 15, 2007 release, and ‘Cacher Manush’.
Chatterjee drew attention to some of the efforts that worked for the channel – one of the recent ones being Bengali big screen director Anjan Choudhary directing ‘Aerao Shatru’ for the channel. Directors like Ravi Ojha worked in ‘Khela’, which was the turning point for the channel.