For Star Gold, Valentine’s Day meant a ratings bonanza. The screening of the Hindi version of Titanic recorded an all-time high TRP of 5.4 across Hindi movie channels. The movie did well for Star even when it was aired on Star Movies. The network plans to milk it some more by showing a Tamil version on Star Vijay on February 29, 2004.
“We expected the movie to do well,” states Joy Chakraborty, Sr. VP, Ad Sales (Star Gold, Star News, Star Vijay). “Even the advertisers believed that it was a good investment. We charged a premium for the movie. As against Rs 2,500-3,000 per 10 seconds, we charged Rs 15,000/10 seconds for the movie. Because of our fixed inventory time per hour, we had to refuse many advertisers.”
The sponsors’ list includes names like HLL, Samsung and Hero Honda as main sponsors, and Marico, Hutch, HPCL among others in the spot buys. As per Chakraborty, the channel has generated its highest revenue this month. One interesting aspect about Gold ratings is that the dubbed international movies have worked far better than Hindi movies on the channel.
Deepak Segal, Sr VP, Content and Communication, Star India expresses, “There is a huge fan following for action on Indian television. And these are superior quality films. Titanic is akin to a Devdas. People know the story but still want to watch it. Also, these movies are promoted very well. So when the audience get to see it in a language they understand, they watch it. Our Saturday ‘Special Gold’ section is consistently delivering the top movie of the week.”
Asserts Chakraborty, “The phenomenon of a dubbed international movie doing better exists even on Star Vijay. From a seller’s point of view, they have proved very profitable to us.” A point to be noted here is that the network has to pay for the rights every time the movie has to be aired on a different channel. Explains Segal, “It depends on the deal struck. Sometimes negotiations are done keeping dubbing rights in mind.”
These dubbed movies have impacted Star Gold’s channel share substantially. Speaking on the overall growth of the channel, Chakraborty says, “Ours is a steady growth. Four out of the top ten movies last month were ours. We have clients of all categories, from FMCGs to telecom to finance, except hosiery on the channel. The growth has been such that now we don’t miss even a single media campaign.”
If ratings of the past six months are observed, from being a definite third, following leader Zee Cinema and MAX for the TG CS 4+ in the Hindi Speaking market, Gold managed a second spot beginning 2004 missing top spot by 0.6 points. Since then, Gold has largely occupied the number three slot, the growth graph being an erratic one. However, in week seven ending February 14, 2004, it does claim top spot, thanks to Titanic. But is that a reflection of the future?