History, the first channel from the TV18 and A+E Networks joint venture, may have made an ambitious statement when the channel said it was set to begin a “historic inning in India”. The opening numbers are indeed very encouraging for the channel, as it debuts in second spot, with some markets including Mumbai and Delhi placing it on the top position.
Data from TAM Media Research shows that for the 1 million+ markets, including six metros, the genre’s GRPs have grown by 24 per cent and channel share by 33 per cent. The reach of the genre has increased by 9 per cent and the time spent on the genre has upped by 15 per cent.
If only the six metros are seen, the genre’s GRPs have grown by 32 per cent and channel share 39 per cent. The reach of the genre in this market has increased by 13 per cent and time spent by 18 per cent.
Speaking to exchange4media on the opening numbers, Ajay Chacko, President, A+E Networks|TV18 said, “We have always said that the reason for TV18 to enter the factual entertainment genre is to grow the genre. All our initiatives such as distribution thrust, the launch marketing strategy, language, universal themes across programme selection and content --- basically the entire scale of the launch, was geared towards broad basing audiences and genre growth. So yes, we did expect traction from new viewers to the genre. As far as expectations go, we think it is a good start, and it’s just the beginning. What’s interesting is that while the genre grew by 29 per cent this year over last, 24 per cent growth in just a week is very positive and encouraging.”
History TV18 has ranked number two with 24 per cent share. Discovery is at 32 per cent and NGC at 18 per cent. Both channels have seen a slight dip in share but History’s numbers have come from new audiences as well.
Needless to say that from here, the challenge for the channel is not only to sustain but further grow these numbers. The channel’s General Manager – Marketing, Sangeetha Aiyer added here, “We plan to introduce some big ticket local productions and marketing tent poles shortly. There will be a new line up of shows in November and December. We will also continue to engage with audiences on other platforms as well such as digital, social media, outreach and so on.”
History had said at the time of its launch that all its initiatives, beginning with the association with Salman Khan as the face of the channel to the number of languages and the distribution footprint are with the intention of making the channel a relatively mainstream entertainment alternative for Indian viewers, as it is the world over. The channel’s research indicated that Indian viewers across demographics were interested in experimenting with alternative forms of content.
Chacko brought the conversation back to the channel’s content, and stated, “The fact that we have the highest time spent in the category (32 minutes) is a very good indication that the content is drawing traction and the stickiness quotient is high. We also believe that our content/shows are differentiated in terms of themes, narratives, story-telling, entertainment value, etc.”