For the movie genre, the game will always be about titles. The year 2006 had been an interesting one for the channels with some channels seeing a blackout when the Information and Broadcast Ministry released terms and conditions on content that a channel could carry. English movie channels faced more problems than Hindi movie channels on this count.
Looking at the performances during the year, the first half saw a tough fight between Zee Cinema and MAX, with the leader changing depending on the movie or the festival the channel in question was airing. However, mid-year, Zee Cinema took a clear lead in the genre till the last quarter when MAX started airing the ICC matches.
Cricket delivered for the channel, allowing it an unprecedented channel share in the year. Thanks to cricket, MAX managed the lead position in the genre with Zee Cinema coming in a close second.
The beginning of 2006 was good for STAR Gold. The channel managed to average at around 4 per cent channel share. However, going forward this dropped and the drop was a steady one. The year also saw Filmy add to its eyeballs steadily even though it remained at the fourth slot. But the graph has been a positive one for the channel.
The title game isn’t so different for English movie channels. The beginning of the year saw HBO and STAR Movies battling it out. The initial period of 2006 was good for both the channels with both showing positive graphs and essentially the title or the movie festival dictating the leader of the week. Zee Studio was the quiet No. 3 player in this period.
However, come Week 35 and the game intensified. The I&B rules resulted in a blackout of most movie channels and the first to be back was Zee Studio. Newcomer PIX was the only other channel that was airing during this period and the effects are for all to see.
STAR Movies and HBO suffered significant falls and the gaps with the No. 3 and No. 4 players reduced significantly. In fact, there was one week, when PIX led the genre. Until Week 45, PIX and Zee Studio both had a good run. But STAR Movies and HBO began to pick up by this period too. The Bond Festival paid off for STAR Movies here and HBO gained similar speed as well. End of the year again saw STAR Movies and HBO competing for the top slot, but with the margins heavily reduced with the other players.