Travel shows, cook shows, game shows, antakshari, health shows et al. It’s quite a mixed fare for viewers on Sunday mornings. Even the channels consider the Sunday viewership as being fickle. So how do the channels stack up? In the 9 am to 12 noon time band on Sunday mornings, Star Plus continues its leadership position with a 33 per cent channel share, followed by Zee TV with 25 per cent. However, in the 10 am to 12 noon time band on Sundays, Zee TV fares commendably with a channel share of 35 percent while Star Plus notches an almost similar 34 per cent chare.
TAM figures from October 20 to November 20, for the time slot 9 am to 12 noon on Sunday mornings for three metros in the Hindi-speaking market (Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata) in the CS 4+ target group show that of the other entertainment channels, Sony has 24 per cent, SAB TV has 9 per cent share, Sahara One has 7 per cent and Star One has 2 per cent.
Star Plus has ‘Sankshipt Ramayan’ and ‘Yaatra’ among the top 10 programmes on Sunday mornings in the 10-12 time slot. Ajay Vidyasagar, Senior Vice-President, Marketing, Star Network, said, “Weekend viewership is generally fickle; there are only certain parts of the weekend when you can get constant viewership. However, Sunday mornings have a systemic audience and we have managed to get a certain volume of eyeballs in this slot.”
Ashish Kaul, Vice-President, Corporate Brand Development, Essel Group, has a different explanation for Zee TV’s strong showing on Sunday mornings. He said, “The Zee TV channel is essentially positioned for Sec B and C and our programming is created to appeal to this segment. We also have women specific programming that gets a good viewership.”
Media planners aver that Zee TV’s good showing in the 10 am-12 noon on Sundays is owing to one of its strongest programmes ‘Sa Re Ga Ma Pa’, which airs at 10.30 am. Said Kajal Thakur, Regional Director, OMS, Delhi, “The overall perspective shows that the weekend has been a weak slot for a long time and none of the channels is making a conscious effort to strengthen weekend programming. Most channels put their niche programmes on the mass platform. Zee TV however puts one of its strongest programmes, ‘Sa Re Ga Ma Pa’, in the Sunday morning slot. It is a mass oriented programme and has been able to retain a good viewership.”
Basabdutta Choudhari, General Manager, Madison Media, Delhi, echoes the same sentiment. “Zee does well because ‘Sa Re Ga Ma Pa’ has always had a loyal viewership. Other channels on Sunday have very similar programming, be it mythological programmes or other niche shows but Zee manages to get appointment viewing with a show like ‘Sa Re Ga Ma Pa’.”
Sony, which has the second highest channel share on weekdays, slides on Sunday mornings to No. 3 position in the 9 am-12 noon slot and to No.4 position in the 10 am-12 noon slot. Tarun Katial, Executive Vice-President, Programming & Response, SET, said, “The Sunday morning slot is not our core focus and there is very little audience available on that day.”
The surprise element is, however, SAB TV, with a channel share of 12 per cent on Sunday mornings in the 10 am to 12 noon slot, putting it ahead of Sony in this time band. Said Kanta Advani, President, Sales and Marketing, SAB TV, “We have done a fairly decent job of maintaining our viewership in a fragmented environment. We have a unique content where everything has to do with comedy. On Sunday mornings we have five episodes of the serial ‘Wah Wah’ stripped vertically, which have been able to garner a good viewership.”
Explaining the changing pattern, Sulina Menon, CEO, Carat India, said, “Weekdays see a very similar pattern, for example, there are the Monday to Thursday serials. However, the pattern starts changing from Friday, when there is actually no fixed pattern of viewing. The number of channels viewed on a weekend is higher but a lot of casual viewing happens. On weekends people follow the programme and not the channel.”