Star Vijay, the Tamil General Entertainment Channel from Star India, commonly known as Vijay TV, recently launched its big ticket non-fiction show, Bigg Boss, with actor Kamal Hassan taking on the mantle of the host. The show has Vivo on board as the presenting sponsor, Nippon Paint as the powered by sponsor, real estate developers Arun Excello, FMCG firm Aachi as the co-presenting sponsors and movie ticketing app Ticket New as the Associate Sponsor.
Commenting on having Kamal Hassan as the host, Krishnan Kutty, General Manager, Vijay Television, says, “The positioning of the show is different from what the market has seen and Kamal Hassan has helped shape the tone of the show.”
Star Vijay has also unveiled new channel branding with a new logo and tagline, “Edhilum Pudhumai Tamizhan Perumai” to reflect the Tamilians’ pride in their culture and language and at the same time their wish to constantly progress and to try new things. To drive home the Tamil connect, Vijay is now written in Tamil, and not English, in the Star Vijay logo. The colours used—yellow and orange—represent turmeric and vermillion and signify the local colours of the Tamil women. Explaining the thought behind the rebranding, Kutty says, “The Tamil consumer takes pride in the Tamil language and is extremely secure in their culture. Compared to other markets, the women in Tamil Nadu play a larger role in the household and in decision making. It is a very progressive society. The logo speaks about this; pride in the Tamilian culture and progress. That’s the aspiration Star Vijay is hoping to meet.”
According to the Pitch Madison Advertising Report 2017, the size of the Tamil satellite television market in 2016 was Rs 1,600–1,900 crore, which is 10% of the overall ad pie and the third largest genre behind Hindi GEC and News. In addition, the state has close to 100% TV penetration and an appetite for content with fresh programming starting as early as 6 am.
Catering to this demand, Vijay TV has launched 12 shows in the fiction and non-fiction space over the last six months and brought in fresh concepts and formats into the market. This has paid big dividends as Vijay TV managed to grow by 50% in ratings and bridge the gap with the biggest and dominant player in the market, Sun TV.
According to Kevin Vaz, CEO, STAR South, “Sun TV has always been the biggest player in this market but looking back if Sun TV would have been 5x of Star Vijay, within the last six months the gap with Sun TV has reduced from 5x to 3x. We clearly see this. We are on a journey to try and see that we can narrow that gap as much as possible. However, for us, it’s not about looking at where Sun is. It’s about giving better content to our viewers as Sun doesn’t offer the content we do.”
He says Star Vijay’s non-fiction (as many as 12 shows a week) and fiction shows have connected with the urban audience and this has translated into advertiser interest. Vaz says, “On the local advertisers we might be slightly bigger than even Sun because they see the direct footfalls. We are looking at a completely different space and we are shaping it.”
To satiate the “great appetite” for content, Star Vijay is slated to launch 14 new shows in the next three months and it is betting on its next big-ticket launch, a mythological show ‘Tamizh Kadavul Murugan’. “Vijay TV offers a variety of content to viewers. We brought in scale and innovation in the non-fiction space and want to replicate that in our fiction shows. Our next big show, Tamizh Kadavul Murugan is mounted on a scale that the Tamil market has not seen,” says Kutty.
Looking ahead, Star Vijay aims to be the destination of choice for Tamil viewers. “We will get in more differentiated shows and try and appeal to a wider audience. If tomorrow we become the most preferred destination that will be our achievement,” says Vaz.