Week 31 of 2013 witnessed an interesting twist in the fourth position in Hindi GEC rankings. As per TAM data sourced from TAM subscribers, SAB TV, which has been occupying the fifth or sixth positions, displaced Sony TV from the fourth position. SAB secured 321 million TVTs, taking it ahead of Sony, which garnered 320 million TVTs. Week 30 saw SAB TV recording TVT of 300 million, while Sony had garnered TVT of 316 million. Interestingly, SAB TV’s gain is seven per cent over the previous week (Week 30), as against 1.2 per cent gain of Sony over the same period.
Anuj Kapoor, EVP and Business Head, SAB TV credited the leap to two main factors. He said, “We showcased an hour-long special show of ‘Tarak Mehta ka Ooltah Chashmah’ on Sunday, which garnered a lot of viewership. Secondly, with digitisation in place, our placement has become better. We now stand in the same position as the other GECs, so our overall visibility has improved. All our programmes are doing well.”
Satire-laced humour and social messaging wrapped around the common man engulfed with problems and their light hearted depiction has worked for SAB TV. Critics and experts have regularly argued that simplicity is the one of the biggest assets of the channel.
The other flagship shows of the channel such as ‘Lapataganj’, ‘FIR’ and ‘Bal Veer’ have also been doing well. Kapoor added, “We are already No. 1 in Gujarat and Rajasthan, and have a substantial presence in strong HSM markets such as UP and MP. We also have a strong presence in Maharashtra. All our shows have been accepted well by the audience in these markets. We are aiming to capture other markets as well.”
Digitisation yielding results
As Kapoor highlighted, the channel’s position has improved post digitisation. It may be noted that post DAS Phase II, several other channels too have reportedly claimed an improvement in their positioning and placement. In an earlier interaction with exchange4media, Rahul Johri, Senior VP and GM - South Asia, Discovery Networks had stated, “Digitisation has levelled the playing field for all the channels, and all of them now compete equally. With the launch of the first DTH platform in India, we had sensed India is getting digital and we now need to prepare to expand our portfolios.”
Although SAB, which was formerly owned by Sri Adhikari Brothers Television Network, did not state whether the revenue prospects of the channel would change post implementation of the 10+2 ad cap in terms of ad rate hike, it is expected the channel is likely to follow MSM group in increasing ad rates.
Although the difference between SAB and Sony is only 1 million TVT and some might argue that these shifts are periodical, it would be safe to assume that digitisation has started to yield benefits to broadcasters and are likely to impact their subscription revenues, which have increased for several broadcasters.