At the beginning of the new financial year, Viacom18’s MTV India has announced its plans to realign itself – structurally as well as strategically – for 2009-10. The process will impact 25 positions in the company. These employees would cease to be in the MTV payroll, but company officials informed that “many would continue working on specific projects as outsourced resources”.
In an internal mail sent to company officials, Ashish Patil, EVP and GM, MTV India, stated: “With this renewed focus on the brand comes the need to realign our strategy, our business. And accordingly, our resources, manpower and focus areas. As part of this exercise, we will see certain changes in the organisation structure, reporting relationships and manpower allocated to certain teams. Unfortunately, these transitions are often painful. And while it is always tough to see a colleague and friend go, we have to take certain calls in the best interest of the business. We shall be doing everything possible over the next few months to help ensure that the transition for both our colleagues and the organisation is as smooth and painless as possible. Some of these colleagues will have a change in their roles, and will continue working with us on specific projects and genres as outsourced resources.”
When contacted, the company spokesperson confirmed the development and said, “This realignment is going to result in changes in the organisation structure, reporting relationships and a few middle and junior level positions across a few teams.” He further said, “In all, 25 positions have been impacted, and amongst these, many will continue working with us on specific projects and genres as outsourced resources.”
He confirmed that “this is an MTV-specific exercise and other Viacom18 businesses remain unaffected”. When probed further on the strategic changes in programming, the spokesperson said, “In time to come, you’ll see a lot more focus on non-music content, including long-form programming, which are bound to deliver far more dividends – in reach, ratings and revenues, thereby placing MTV in a different league altogether.”
Over the last 12 months, the channel has seen unprecedented growth in revenues and ratings, with its long-form shows like ‘Roadies’ and ‘Splitsvilla’ achieving highest ever ratings for the channel in its 15-year history in India. In the last few weeks, ‘MTV Roadies’ has done an average of 3.65 TVRs, while ‘Splitsvilla’s’ ratings have touched as high as 1.75, taking the channel’s overall GRPs to 83 (week 13 2009 – March 22-28, 15-24 SEC AB, HSM), which places it miles ahead of its competitors.
When asked whether this was MTV’s reaction to the recessionary trend, the spokesperson replied in the negative and added, “We are at our highest ratings ever and the story on the revenue front is no different either. Going into 2009-10, we have set ourselves some very aggressive goals, and while the market sits at a single digit growth rate wherever it is not declining, this realignment will help us drive a healthy double digit growth and maintain the momentum we have generated over the last 12 months.”