History Channel has positioned itself in a niche space. While this can be seen as a substantial step in the development of niche segments, a look at TAM ratings will present an accurate picture of the acceptance of such differentiated content on Indian television.
Considering the TAM media research ratings for the time period November 30 to December 27, 2003 for the target C&S 4+, all markets, History has registered increase in channel share and also reach. Zubin Gandevia, MD, History Channel, India explains, “The History Channel is targeted at wholesome family viewing. The channel offers content unlike the mindless entertainment that is available on Indian television today.”
From week 50 to 51 of 2003, the channel has witnessed an increase of 0.03 per cent, which further increases by a 0.01 per cent in week ending December 27, 2003, giving the channel a 0.06 per cent share. The figure in itself is modest but perhaps it is the growth that has the enthused the channel. Gandevia expresses, “Fantastic, but not unexpected. Keeping in mind the differentiated content, we set our sights high.”
One factor the channel is content about is the distribution, which was one of the prime concerns on the channel’s task list during the launch. As per the ratings, the 6.0 per cent reach in the week ending December 20, has increased to a 12.2 per cent in week 52. Gandevia expresses, “This is not a surprise as the distribution is good, thanks to a healthy response from the cable fraternity. The channel is available to over 16 million households across country and in metros it has achieved close to 100 per cent penetration.”
Elucidating further on the much spoken about programme ‘Biography’, Gandevia says, “The channel does well throughout the day but the Biography strip is drawing appointment viewing, contributing well to the viewership performance on the whole.”
And which channels does he consider competition at this stage? Gandevia replies, “History is a genre in itself, which we are looking at growing and creating awareness around, rather than focusing on competition. Nonetheless we believe, we will attract viewers from sports, movies, news, music, factual entertainment as well as general entertainment audiences.”
He adds, “We expect the channel to occupy place both in the viewers’ mind and in the advertiser’s media plans.”
Giving a media perspective, Amol Dighe, Investment Director, Mindshare Fulcrum, says, “The channel does look good in terms of content. It is informative and I think it will draw children viewership. Though it is too early to say anything, I don’t think it would be wrong to expect FMCG domination on the channel.”