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New Hindi GECs run neck to neck in first few weeks

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New Hindi GECs run neck to neck in first few weeks

Two high-profile Hindi GEC launches have had the television industry and marketers sit up and take note - Sony Pal and Zindagi.

In an earlier story on exchange4media, we took a look at whether these new channels were effective brand magnets (New Hindi GECs: Effective brand magnets or segment crowders?). We also examined their profitability model. With the latest round of TAM viewership ratings, we get closer to the verdict on the battle for eyeballs.

Running head to head

The first few weeks of both these channels, Zindagi and Sony Pal, have been quite exciting. Zindagi, which is targeted at the premium HSM audience, in the first week of data released by TAM subscribers week 28 (July 6 – 12, 2014) had got off to a good start with 27 GVTs. The channel gained viewership during following week (week 29 – July 13-19, 2014) as its ratings increased to 29 GVTs. However, it has to be noted that the channel went on air on June 23, 2014 and due to unavailability of TAM data for weeks 27 and 26, the performance of the channel during the first two weeks is undocumented. 

Sony Pal, the Hindi GEC targeting women in the age group of 15-34 years SEC B, C, D and E HSM markets, had got off to a slow start in the first week, (week 36, August 31 – September 6, 2014), registering only 11 GVTs. The channel however picked momentum in week 37 (September 7 – 13, 2014) and almost doubled its ratings to 21 GVTs.

In comparison to this, Life OK during the first week after its launch (December 18, 2011) managed to get 87 GRPs. A week prior to it being revamped to Life OK, the channel formerly known as Star One, had managed to get 44 GRPs to take No.6 spot to push Imagine TV (currently not available) to No.7 spot with 67 GRPs. According to data from TAM subscribers in December 29, 2011, Life OK’s relative market share was 6.4 per cent and had managed to overtake Imagine TV, which had dropped from 5.7 per cent to 4.9 per cent. This showed how effective the channel was after the re-launch.

However, this yardstick is not applicable to the new Hindi GECs as Life OK had a ready viewer base and had managed to expand it. These new entrants however have to build up their viewer base from scratch.

Zindagi, which currently is in No.7 spot on the chart, has seen its rating seesaw every week. Its ratings have fallen in week 37 to 30 GVTs from 35 GVTs in week 36. Prior to this, the ratings had risen from 29 GVTs in week 35 to 35 GVTs week 36. Week 34 to week 35 too saw its ratings rise marginally from 26 GVTs in week 34 to 29 GVTs in week 35. However, after the minor decline in ratings from week 29, Zindagi ratings stayed stable for three weeks, i.e. week 32, 33 and 34 at 26 GVTs. This shows that the channel is moving at a slow pace and that can be attributed to the short finite series of programmes that the channel has chosen to showcase. While other Hindi GEC channels tend to showcase long running shows and build a steady audience base over time.

Brand Partnerships

In our previous articles on new Hindi GECs, we had explored how it is easier for new channels that are part of a larger network to attract brands as compared to standalone channels (Are new Hindi GECs making enough money?).  Ruchir Tiwari in an earlier interview to exchange4media had said that ZEEL channels, Zindagi and &Pictures had received backing from brands right from their inception, indicating how it works for a new brand to leverage the mother network.

According to the data available on Zindagi’s website, the channel has managed to attract quite a few brands, including presenting and associate sponsors Shakti Bhog Foods, Prega News, Lux Lyra, Emami 7 Oils in One, India Gate rice, Snapdeal, Kajaria, Odonil and ORRA jewellery.  

Some of the brands that have associated with Sony Pal for its shows in these few weeks since its inception include Horlicks, Aashirvaad foods, Panasonic smart phones, Karbonn smart phones, Fair & Lovely, Colgate, Ponds White Beauty fairness cream, Lux, Eno and Bournvita, mostly FMCG brands. 

While both channels have managed to win over a cutch of brands for the initial rounds, it remains to be seen how the associations will continue if the ratings do not pick up in the coming weeks.


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