Since the last two years, the Hindi movie genre has been observing a lot of action. Big budget movies are making their presence felt at the box office more often than their older counterparts. Television broadcasters are more than eager to cash in on these movies’ popularity by acquiring them and premiering them on TV, post their theatrical release.
The year 2012 saw a lot of television premieres garnering high TRPs such as ‘Bodyguard’ with a high TRP of 10, ‘Singham’ and ‘RA-One’ with a TRP of 8.7 and 6.7 respectively on Star Gold. This was followed by Agneepath on Zee Cinema garnering 4.7 TRP. The later part of the year observed movies such as ‘Bol Bachchan’ on Star Gold garnering a TRP of 4.8 (Source: TAM, Market: HSM, TG: CS 4+).
Though premieres such as ‘Rowdy Rathore’ and ‘Ek tha tiger’ on Max and ‘English Vinglish’ on Zee Cinema did not do extremely well, garnering 2.9 TVR, 2.2 TVR and 2 TVR respectively, they have managed to attract audience attention.
Considering the fact that these movies have been already premiered in theatres, what are the factors that drive their TV success?
Movie premieres hold fort on TV
Over the years, even though the challenges of the Hindi movie genre have only increased with the steady rise of movie acquisition cost, prominent networks have been acquiring movies and premiering them on either their general entertainment channels or Hindi movie channels. There are various factors behind this phenomenon. The first and foremost is the trend of premiering the movies 60 to 90 days post their theatrical release. With the time gap between movie premieres on theatres and small screens gradually declining, there is a certain percentage of the population who eagerly wait for the television premiere. There is also the case of movies that do very well at the box office and hence, people don’t mind watching it on television again.
The second reason that has driven movie premieres to do well is the marketing buzz created. Channels today are promoting television premieres in a big way. Today a movie is promoted twice; the first during its theatrical release and the second time when a particular channel is premiering it on television. From extensive outdoor campaigns to contests on the digital platform, players are going all out to grab eyeballs and create buzz around movies.
Last but not the least, channels are cutting down on their commercial breaks to up ad rates. This has worked for them and helped them command better ad rates. Therefore, though the cost of acquisition of titles has increased, monetisation through prominent advertisers and repeat telecasts remains the order of the day. This works on a long-term basis since the break-even occurs over a period of repeat telecasts on television.
Hindi movie channels vs. Hindi GECs
Primarily, movies are premiered on either Hindi GE channels or movie channels. Time and again comparisons between the two have transpired as to which serves as a better business model. There are two sides to the discussion.
Though Hindi movie genre GRPs has been second only to Hindi GEs, the effective rate of these channels, in some cases, is lesser than a tenth of what a Hindi GE channel commands. The reason seen is that the investment that Hindi GE does in original content and the exclusivity of that content plays a big role. On the other hand, Hindi movie channels are typically known to telecast content that has been viewed during theatrical releases and the genre has usually followed the practice of telecasting older titles. Networks such as STAR, ZEE and MSM have aired big titles on their GE channels.
The beginning of 2013 saw the premiere of fresh titles such as ‘Student of the year’ on Sony Entertainment Television, Inkaar on Colors, Raaz 3 on Max, Son of Sardaar on Star Plus, etc. Though a network devises its own content strategy, 2013 saw a host of television releases on Hindi GECs, post which they were premiered on the movie channels of the respective networks.
But all said and done, players in the broadcast space still believe that an effective media plan requires a Hindi movie channel, owing to the reach factor. Also, it has been observed that though premieres on Hindi GECs bring better returns from the trade point, Hindi movie genre still continues to score over GECs in terms of ratings. For example, recently the premiere of ‘Son of Sardar’ on Star Plus which garnered a TVR of 4.5, managed to clock a 5.1 TVR on Star Gold.
What has been observed is that with the decline in the ratings of the top programmes, the Hindi GECs have been observing a fall in GRPs. According to the Pitch Madison Media Advertising Outlook 2013 report, there has been a decline in the ratings of the top programmes on the Indian television space. The average rating of a top programme in 2012 was 4.15 compared to 11.45 in 2003 while the average rating for top 10 programmes is a very low 2.79 as opposed to 8.34 back in 2003. Hence, on one side where Hindi GECS are losing on the ratings, Hindi movie channels have managed to hold fort and remain consistent on the rating front.