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TV channels in Kerala leverage Onam to increase viewership

TV channels in Kerala leverage Onam to increase viewership

Author | Deepa Balasubramanian | Friday, Aug 22,2014 8:11 AM

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TV channels in Kerala leverage Onam to increase viewership

Continuing with the series of how Kerala is gearing up for the biggest festival down south Onam, exchange4media looks at what the major television players have lined up for the festival, who are the biggest advertiser and what are the changes in the pattern of advertising...

Due to the ongoing tussles between producers and satellite channel owners regarding reduction in the number of films bought by these satellite channels have proved to be a disadvantage for broadcasters. The Association of Malayalam Movie Artists (AMMA) has restricted artists to go on screen during any festive. So, this year more stress would be on showcasing films rather than any fiction or non-fiction shows.

Visual delight for the people of Kerala

The leading Malayalam channels have started preparing for Onam to bring the flavour in the living rooms of viewers and thus competing with each other in gaining viewership. Asianet, the leader in the Kerala market, has planned to showcase celebrity interviews, premiere movies, special programmes, chat shows and fiction shows. One of the major highlights of Asianet’s Onam celebration is the telecast of 7 blockbuster movies on both Uthradom and Tiruvonam day. They also have plans to telecast a comedy based show named Oruload Maveli, where 10 comedians will come dressed in maveli costume and will make the audience laugh to their fullest. Last but not the least, they have Mavelikara, a family fiction with a post office set-up.

Elaborating on the programming line-up, Reghu Ramachandran, Vice-President, Asianet said, “Asianet Movies will showcase four celebrity movies on four days. For example, first day, movies acted by the famous actor Dileep will be showcased, likewise second day it will be Mohanlal movies, then Mammooty’s movies and last day it would be Suresh Gopi’s movies.”

Mathrubhumi News channel has conceived an interesting mix of how people from all strata of society celebrate Onam. All bulletins will have a flavour and touch of Onam, with inputs from the Malayalee diaspora also. They have a dedicated Onam programming with a host of celebrity shows, involving film stars, sporting icons, professionals and other segments of society.

Kappa TV, the only youth channel in Kerala from Mathrubhumi’s slate, has planned for the festive season with spicier offerings, ‘Music Mojo Super Week’ with celebrity artistes and music bands being the highlight for Onam. Other important shows include exclusive celebrity chat and comedy shows, food and travel shows, ‘Moodtapes’ with celebrities and ‘Film Lounge’ covering all Onam releases. ‘Hot Shots’ will be a premiere slot featuring short films from reputed film makers.

Shreyams Kumar M V, Director- Marketing, Mathrubhumi said, “Programming content, whatever we do has to be around the Onam celebration. Though Onam is a festival for all malayalees, it is celebrated differently in different parts of Kerala. So, we have tried to showcase this through our programming mix this year.”

SJ Clement, Network Programming Head - GEC, Sun TV Network said, “Surya TV has an elaborate schedule for Onam from August 17 to September 10. Apart from airing special shows, we’ve scheduled blockbuster premiere films like ‘Police Maaman,’ ‘1983,’ 'Punyalan Agarbathis,’ etc. Another highlight being the telecast of ‘How Old Are You’, a Malayalam super hit film which is still running successfully in theatres. The movie is sure to garner an encouraging response being a comeback movie for popular actress Manju Warrier after 14 years. The fact that an ongoing film screened across theatres is simultaneously getting aired on television for the first time makes it one of the most sought after initiatives by the Group.”

He further added, “We will have interviews of film personalities, Onam celebrations in some film locations, contests and many more. Viewers will have a choice to watch close to 30 shows this Onam exclusively on Surya TV and the celebration will continue till the end of September with premiere movies being showcased.”

Kairali TV in association with Swaralaya, a cultural organisation from Kerala has shot a cultural show in Dubai, which will be telecast on the Tiruvonam day. It will be a two-and-a-half hour show, where celebrities such as singer K J Yesudas and his son Vijay Yesudas, comedian Suraj Venjaramoodu and many more will be a part of the show. The show will have a mix of comedy, singing and dancing. They will also be showcasing blockbuster movies of actors such as Mohanlal, Mammootty, Tamil actor Vijay’s movie dubbed in Malayalam and many more.

S Rajiv, Sr. GM-Sales, Kairali TV added, “Telecasting blockbuster movies will be the major highlight. We will also have chat shows and interviews with celebrities.”

Advertisers and change in advertising pattern

Brands prefer electronic media as the best way to reach out to the masses as it has the advantage of wide reach and response. FMCG has been advertising in a big way during Onam. It is always the retail and jewellery brands that spend huge amount in advertising in television. But, currently according to experts retail advertising has seen a surge during Onam. Although some of the major FMCG brands such as ITC, Johnson & Johnson, Britannia and Titan have started advertising, other national brands such as Samsung, Sony, LG are generally very active during Onam.

Jewellery brands are yet to start in a big way. Experts say it might be because of the chingam month that started only on August 17, so it’s quiet early to predict, which category will advertise more this year. Although some of the major spenders include Chemmanur, Bhima, Malabar Gold, Kalyan Jewellers and so on.

Ad revenues of some of the channels including Asianet have gone up by 20-25 percent from the last season.  It is yet to be seen which sector will contribute the highest to the overall ad spend pie, as the market seems to be sluggish currently.
 

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