Sony Entertainment Television, the flagship channel of the MSM Group has lost 5-10 per cent of its revenues due to low ratings over the last two months.
Speaking to exchange4media, Rohit Gupta, President, Multi Screen Media said “Although over the last two months Sony TV has suffered some drop in revenues, but the drop would hardly be 5-10 per cent, and this has not affected our overall revenues. Properties like the IPL are a huge hit. Along with this, the audience profile of Sony is different from the regular GECs. Our profile is affluent audiences. I am confident that by the end of this financial year, the MSM Group will meet its top line and bottom line.”
He further said, “We have many large properties. Our dependence on the flagship channel has reduced considerably over the last four to five years.”
Speaking more on the Sony’s viewer profile, Gupta said, “The audience profile on Sony is more urban and skewed towards a younger audience, which is also what most advertisers target. The Indian middle class’ propensity to consume and influence decisions is most here.”
At the time of filling the report, Sony TV was placed at No. 5 position among the GECs with 306 million TVTs. This was less than 339 million TVTs that the channel had recorded in Week 8 of 2014 on the back of the TV premiere of the movie ‘Ramleela’.
Over the last few months, Sony TV has fallen down on the ratings parameter, and the leadership at the channel has also admitted and expressed its disappointment over the fact that the fiction content of the channel is not working as expected.
What do media planners think?
Media planners, on the other hand, believe that while Sony might have suffered a loss in ratings, the channel is very effective in targeting male audiences.
Himanka Das, SVP, West, Carat Media said, “Sony is the only mainline GEC which airs a lot of male content, and this makes it more efficient and cost effective. Revenues could be affected due to low ratings, but a marketer buys eyeballs.”
Satyajit Sen, CEO, ZenithOptimedia said, “The inventory pricing of the channel might have relatively gone down in the non-prime time band. The male audiences are relatively skewed towards the channel. Due to ratings downfall, there is no doubt that revenues of the channel have gone down, but it is unlikely that they have cut down the inventory cost in the prime time.”
Another senior media planner from Delhi said, “We deal with Sony a lot. Their CPRP has gone down and this could have affected the overall revenues of the channel. I would say that Sony banks upon flagship properties. ‘CID’, ‘Crime Patrol’, and ‘Indian Idol’ are viewed by audiences and also have good brand recall. This keeps the game on for them.”
Marketers we spoke to mentioned that one does not invest on a channel, but on a certain property and that the final choice depends upon the results that a property delivers and not the channel overall.
Sony was the only mainline GEC that had vehemently opposed TRAI’s mandate of 10+2 ad cap. Following the ad cap would have meant increase in ad rates. However, NP Singh, CEO, MSM Group, while taking charge, had mentioned that the channel is following the ad cap. Analysts in the industry had then indicated that the following of the cap was more out of the demand-supply gap in the inventories.