After tasting the success of its repositioning, The History Channel is now gearing up to maintain the pace of growth that it has seen over the past one year. The channel repositioned itself in May 2006 whereby it announced a new strategic direction in India and activated a well-defined shift into the entertainment genre.
The channel is riding high on its repositioning success. According to TAM (TG: CS Males 25+ AB; market: five metros), the channel shares having increased by a whopping 150 per cent from May 2006 to March 2007. The monthly time spent on the channel has increased by 168 per cent and the absolute channel reach has also gone up from 16.3 million in May 2006 to 22.5 million in March 2007 (Source: TAM; TG: CS4+; market: all-India, all day shares).
Two of the channel’s properties, ‘Dogfights’ and ‘Shootout’, have managed to create top-of-the-mind recall with audiences across the country in the last quarter. Said Rajesh Sheshadri, Vice President-Marketing, The History Channel India, “In our minds, The History Channel always had a lot of potential. Our mantra has always been to make history exciting and entertaining. We are delighted with our viewers’ response and it only strengthens our belief that a country with such strong roots in history will continue to appreciate and indulge in the genre.”
According to him, the challenge ahead is “to keep the same pace of growth without loosing the perception that we have created”.
Going forward, The History Channel will continue to ride high on the popularity of ‘Double F’ and ‘Jumbo Movies’, which have done very well, as also focus on creating compelling content for its viewers.
At present, the channel is betting big on a new series called ‘History Rocks’ which is slated to be launched by the end of May. Joy Bhattacharjya, Senior Vice President-Programming, The History Channel, said, “The History Channel is poised for a strong season ahead with the premiere of our entertaining new series ‘History Rocks’, which is a foot-tapping account of rock legends and brings together special concerts, documentaries, videos and interviews from performers and bands.”
‘History Rocks’ will be cross-promoted on Channel [V]. The channel will be looking at reaching out to music lovers through different music stores and will connect with them through music-based websites too. Besides, the channel is also going to organise rock concert in pubs of Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore.
Among the other programming line-up include new the long-running series, ‘Reilly: Ace of Spies’ starring Sam Neil; ‘Jewel In the Crown’; ‘Yes Minister’; as well as entertaining movies like ‘Hunchback of Notre Dame’; ‘Story of David’ starring Timothy Bottoms and Jane Seymour; and ‘Age of Treason’ with Art Malik, among others. Besides, the new adventurous series ‘Lost Evidence’ that recounts moments of key battles in the European and Pacific theatres through the use of recently unearthed reconnaissance photos taken during the actual battle, along with new episodes of ‘Dogfights’ and ‘Modern Marvels’ are some of the other interesting programmes that viewers can watch out for during the next three months.
As far as the India-centric programming is concerned, the channel has recently started a series ‘Mera India’. Going forward, the channel would focus on having programmes that are larger than life and according to Sheshadri, “that fit into the DNA of the channel”. For the record, the show ‘Bollywood Bosses’ was another success factor the channel.
Over the past one year, the channel has got around 100 advertisers on board. Sheshadri said, “Through the content, if I am able to get the right audiences, then getting advertisers is just a matter of time.”
Elaborating more on the channel’s success, Sheshadri said, “Our integrated on-air, online and on-ground initiatives have been instrumental in the channel’s success and have helped us make our viewers experience history like never before. We have constantly strived to provide our audiences with entertaining viewing options and advertisers with innovative platforms to fully and effectively engage their customers. This is reflected in the incredible channel shares and validates the support shown by our advertising partners.”