The first week’s numbers for NDTV Imagine are here and they definitely are good news for the channel.
Looking at the GRP (gross ratings point) analysis of the week beginning January 21, 2008, for the C&S 4+ in the Hindi speaking markets, TAM Media Research shows that NDTV Imagine has opened to 55 GRPs. This puts it in a better slot than 9X, SAB and Zee Next. The distance between Star One and Sahara One is not too far – given that in this week, Star One has 69 GRPs and Sahara One is at 68. When compared with the previous week, channels losing points are Zee TV, 9X, and though by just one point, even Star One.
If the 7.00 pm to 11.00 pm band on the weekdays, where NDTV Imagine has placed original content, is observed closely, the channel has already taken the number three position amongst Hindi general entertainment channel. Star Plus and Zee TV are at 36 per cent and 34 per cent respectively. NDTV Imagine with a share of 6.6 per cent is very close to Star One that has a share of 6.5 per cent and Sahara One that has 6.2 per cent share. Sony follows with a 4.5 per cent share.
NDTV Imagine’s decision to begin with four hours of original content has also paid off for the channel. The original hours of programming have contributed to the total GRP of the channel that in turn allows NDTV Imagine to boast of the highest opening for a Hindi GEC in recent times – Star One in 2004 had opened to 20 GRPs, 9X had opened to 21 GRPs and Zee Next had opened to 6 GRPs.
Media heads have given the channel two thumbs up. Lodestar Universal’s COO, Nandini Dias, said, “These are very good numbers, and they have given NDTV Imagine a headstart. They have come quickly at par with the other channels – new channels obviously and even the established ones. These numbers are, in fact, much better than some of the niche players.”
TME’s Vice-President, Divya Radhakrishnan, added, “These are great numbers and I expect them to grow further from here. NDTV Imagine has opened between the first tier and the second tier of Hindi GECs, and that is saying a lot. These are the best opening numbers that a channel could have asked for.”
GroupM CTG’s National Director, Prasanth Kumar, agreed. He said, “An opening number of 55 in the fragmented environment today is simply great. Numbers show that NDTV Imagine’s ‘Ramayan’ ploy has paid off. The challenge from here is to retain these numbers, and to grow them further.”
NDTV Imagine officials stated that the numbers were “in line with expectations”. Sameer Nair, CEO, NDTV Imagine, said, “We are delighted with the response to the brand, the channel and its programming. The ratings are a clear indicator of the connect we have made with viewers across the country. It is a good start and we promise to continue to entertain and delight our audiences with fresh and compelling programming.”
Harsh Rohatgi, EVP-Revenue Management and New Ventures, NDTV Imagine, added, “We appreciate the tremendous support we have received from the advertisers who came on board even before we launched. The viewership in the launch week underscores our programming and marketing strategy, backed by strong distribution, and delivers great value to our clients from the first week itself. On the back of this, we are hopeful of bringing on board even more advertisers in the next couple of weeks.”
Giving further explanation on the programme performance, Manoj Vidwans, EVP-Research, Marketing and Communications, NDTV Imagine, said, “The top show has been ‘Ramayan’ with strong viewership across markets, especially the Hindi heartland. ‘Ramayan’ has seen very strong ratings in these markets with Madhya Pradesh 1million+ and Uttar Pradesh 1million+ towns registering 5+ TVRs. The overall time spent on ‘Ramayan’ has underscored our belief of the need for this epic to be retold. The other show ratings have been encouraging as well.”
He explained that ratings of ‘Dharam Veer’ had increased day on day, from Monday through Friday. ‘Nachle Ve’ had generated “strong traction for its time-band and slot duration, which is one hour (Monday to Friday, 7-8 pm)”. Vidwans further said, “The format, too, has been brand new and completely untested before. Hence, we are especially happy with the audience response to ‘Nachle Ve’ with Saroj Khan. ‘Say Shaava Shaava’ was meant to be a ‘sampling generator’ and an ‘awareness driver’ for the channel. The show has done this task exceedingly well. We are sure that all the shows would receive healthy sampling and increased time spent on the channel, in the days to come.”
The first report card has done its bit for NDTV Imagine, and Team Imagine looks all geared for the challenges that lie ahead.