New Year began with the awards bang on Indian television. In close following, one after the other, five different awards graced the tube until February end. With the promotions and packaging around the awards, the efforts that channels have invested in these events are obvious. The question however is, ‘Is it all worth it?’
The only awards ceremony to be aired in January was Asian Paints Star Screen Awards on Star Plus. With an average rating of 9.39 in the Hindi speaking market for the target C&S 4+, the property did reasonably well. Coming to the month of February, the month began with Sansui Viewer’s Choice Awards on Sony Television. The awards generated an overall rating of 4.67. These are high end ratings for the channel even if they don’t match up with top rated shows on the channel. A point to be noted here is that Sony did not create any hype around these awards.
Same goes for the next awards in the month that is Hero Cycles Stardust Awards, again on Star Plus. In comparison to Screen awards, these ratings were lower recording a 6.75 TRPs. These awards were followed by Manikchand Filmfare Awards and Sony did go to town with it. The channel had special programming to create hype around the awards and even utilised the platform to the fullest to showcase its own properties. However, the ratings were lower than Sansui Viewer’s Choice Awards fetching it an overall 4.46.
Another point to observe here is that Filmfare night did face some massive competition from Star Plus, where the channel aired back to back Hindi versions of The Lost World Jurassic Park and Jurassic Park 3. The movies drew the ratings of 8.37 and 5.08 respectively for the mentioned TG and market. This would increase the cumulative viewership on 21 February, 2004 in comparison to any other awards night.
The last in the list was Pan Parag’s Zee Cine Awards on Zee TV. If one might think that people might have been bored by now, think again. The property gave the channel as high as 4.93 TRPs. With the figures that Zee is presently fetching, these are very high numbers.
Interestingly all these properties have fetched lower figures in the year 2003. Given the available TAM markets in the early months of 2003 in the Hindi speaking areas for the same targets, The Hero Cycles Stardust Awards, Fair Glow Zee Cine Awards and Manikchand Filmfare Awards played around the vicinity of 2.89, 2.04 and 2 TVRs respectively. Even the other awards recorded lower TVRs. Even if the market are appraised and calculate on current standards, 2004 did mean better delivery from film awards.
So are awards becoming a more efficient property for channels in terms of delivery? “Not necessarily,” says Amit Ray, Executive Vice President, Optimum Media Solutions, “the ratings that they manage depend on more or less of how well it is packaged - more stars and more jazz would get more people to watch it and that would get more ratings. But irrespective of the activities done around the awards, the platform makes a whole lot of difference too.”
Speaking more about the benefits that awards offer, Ray explains, “Awards give you continuous viewing. The stickiness is higher and so in context to RoI, advertising on these properties makes sense.”
Giving a different line of thought here, Gautam Rajgopal, Associate Media Director (Broadcast Investments), Starcom points, “It is a good opportunity for the channel but from the advertising point of view, I think it makes more sense to ride on the awards for visibility in promos. Channels promote these awards heavily. Also for brands like Manikchand and Pan Parag, this proves to be a very good platform.
Rajgopal explains that given the ratings, CPRP wise, awards don’t make a very viable investment, as the channels charge premium on these properties. “Take the example of Manikchand or Asian Paints, it makes sense to be a title sponsor. More so in as title sponsors get cross network promotion.”