Fiction has always been the name-of-the-game in the Hindi general entertainment space. In the past few weeks, the most watched space in the broadcasting community, due to its high reach and advertising interest, is seeing a shuffle of hands and leaving no one comfortably perched on their seats.
The year 2011 has seen invigorated energies put in by the players with a focused approach toward long term goals. In just nine weeks of the New Year, the Hindi GEC space has seen changes in its structure and each week holds a surprise or two for the industry.
Zooming in on the primetime fresh programming churned out by the players, as per data from TAM Media Research for CS 4+ Hindi Speaking Markets from Monday to Friday for the 6 pm to 12 midnight time band, the year began with Star Plus with a 15 per cent channel share of the Hindi GEC pie, a clear leader dominating the space. Next came in Colors and Zee TV battling it out for the No. 2 position.
In the weeks that followed, the space has seen a change in the dynamics with a strong battle for the No. 2 position. Until Week 3 2011, Colors maintained a lead in the primetime slot with a channel share of 10.16 per cent to 10.78 per cent to 10.69 per cent in the third week, after which it saw a drop in its primetime viewership. In Week 7, the channel rose to 10.69 per cent and to 10.34 per cent in Week 8 and most recently in Week 9, at 10.15 per cent.
The channel has been criticised for relying too heavily on its non-fiction programming, comprising events and its film bank to maintain a steady GRP count. Week 6 onwards, running up to Week 8, the channel aired titles such as ‘Dabangg’, ‘Once Upon A Time in Mumbai’, ‘Pyaar Kiya Toh Darna Kya’, ‘Maine Dil Tujhko Diya’ and ‘Khatta Meetha’, almost entirely break free, which grossed a major of weekend ratings for the channel.
Zee TV has adopted the route of content innovation, which saw the channel premiere original programming and extend the primetime slot from 6 pm onwards in November 2010. The channel also played a ‘Mahasangam’ on January 17, spread over a period of one and a half hours that rated 5.9 TVR.
As of TAM Week 4 2011 (by end of January) and up to the current Week 9 2011 (February 19 to 26), Zee TV has seen a rise in its primetime viewership. According to TAM data in Week 9, Zee TV’s weekday and weekend primetime programmes have strengthened its margins over competition, and contributed to its improved block lead in the first two months of the year. As maintained by media observers, GRPs added by Hindi feature films leads to inconsistency and does not add to profitability for a channel or benefit an advertiser by providing relevant ratings.
As per the data, in Week 9 Zee TV has gained 23 GRPs to reach at 233 GRPs from 210 GRPs last week and thus stands at No. 2 position. ‘Pavitra Rishta’ continues to be the top show among Hindi GECs with an average TVR of 5.5 this week. Colors has seen a loss of 58 points from 283 to 225 GRPs this week. The top Hindi GEC, Star Plus, has also seen a decrease from 300 to 297 GRPs, causing it to range below the 300-point mark this week.
Move on to No. 4
In the second line Hindi GEC space, SAB is the new hero that has effectively moved past sister channel Sony Entertainment Television this week, with a total of 153 points up from 133 GRPs last week. In the primetime slot, SAB has been leading the Tier II Hindi GEC space since TAM Week 6 moving from 5.84 to 5.81 per cent this week. The channel had been inching closer to Sony in the last couple of weeks, after crossing its new benchmark of 150-plus points and it is now eying the 200-GRP mark in the coming fiscal. Sony has hit a low point of 136 GRPs this week, down from 143 GRPs last week.