For those who thought that the Hindi general entertainment channel (GEC) genre is seeing 10 channels too many, ratings suggest that even the newcomers have a shot. The ratings battle in the space has been hot and the No. 3 player is decided on how good the previous week was. With NDTV Imagine’s ‘Ramayan’ breaking into the top 50, and Colors opening on an encouraging note, Hindi GEC space is surely headed for interesting times.
NDTV Imagine has been a strong No. 3 contestant scoring substantially in the primetime slots. 9X has also added to the action in the space by taking the No. 3 position in various weeks, on the all-week ratings data. Sony Entertainment Television has done its bit to stay in the fight for that slot. Add to that Colors and surely, the ‘jazbaat ke rang’ that ratings throw every week ‘entertain and delight’ advertisers, especially the ones on the Gen Next of the Hindi GECs.
NDTV Imagine’s ‘Ramayan’ scored a 3-plus last week on TAM Media Research ratings for the C&S 4+ in the Hindi speaking markets. The heat of the competition is further evident in the fact that Ramayan has scored significant 2-plus episode ratings, like some of the other new recent shows, but the top 50 has still been far. The 3-plus allowed the show to break into the top 50 rated episodes of the shows across Hindi GECs.
aMap ratings that give overnight numbers show that Colors has reasons to celebrate too, as aMap data shows that Colors driver show, ‘Fear Factor Khatron Ke Khiladi’, has rated a 1-plus in the C&S 4+ audience of the Hindi speaking markets. The overall rating of the primetime block from the channel is 8-plus on July 21, 2008, and this grew to 13-plus on July 22, 2008. On the aMap scoreboard at least, Colors has already opened as the No. 3 Hindi GEC in primetime. Another week and we would know the TAM Media Research scores as well.
The broad point is that the third slot in the Hindi GEC genre has further become fluid. First, there were three competitors in that space, now there are four. Media experts state that these trends are very similar to what were seen in the Hindi general news channels space some time back. They are of the opinion that this could well lead to a scene where a channel is as good as its last show.
“At present, there may be a distinct No. 1 and a No. 2 player, but it is soon going to be about which programme did well, and that channel will do well as long as that show is on the channel,” said Nandini Dias, COO, Lodestar Universal. Comparing it to news, she said, “In the news genre, it is really now about how well which event was covered at that point in time. If you consider the UPA Government’s Trust Vote coverage, can you say which channel would’ve done well? Every month there has been a different leader.”
Adding to that, Divya Radhakrishnan, Senior Vice President, TME, said, “It is true that the No. 3 position has become very tough, but Colors has come in a more competitive environment than what 9X or NDTV Imagine had come in. To get these numbers, from that point, is very encouraging.”
Dias further said that while right now the discussion was about the No. 3 spot, soon it would be about the genre per se. “Everyone is as vulnerable as anyone else in the genre. It is the same production houses for all of them, and anything can work or not work. But anyone can make it here.”
This doesn’t paint the brightest picture for the players, especially the established ones of the first generation of the Hindi GECs. And the media planner’s life has got even tougher. However, end of day, clients and consumers in India are seeing a range of choices like never before.