With IPL season in full swing, like every year Hindi GECs have had to bear the brunt in the form of loss of ratings. But this time around, there has been an interesting twist to the story. Though Max has managed to cut through the competition, managing to outperform other players in the Hindi GEC space in terms of viewership numbers, Star Plus has managed to hold fort so far this IPL season.
According to viewership data for CS 4+, HSM markets, Star Plus clocked 233 GRPs, as opposed to 211 GRPs recorded by Max in week three of IPL. This is also in stark contrast to 344 GRPs that Sony Max had recorded in 2012 during IPL Week 3. Though Star Plus has since dropped 19 points as compared to its last week’s GRPs of 252, the channel has managed to retain its No. 1 position during the IPL season for the third consecutive week as per TAM ratings for Week 16 (April 14 – April 20) of 2013.
Week 15 had also seen Star Plus on the number one spot with 252 GRPs, thereby managing to fare better than Max, which garnered 234 GRPs.
According to ratings recorded in the last five years, Max has always garnered very high GRPs as compared to Star Plus, thereby replacing Star Plus in the broadcast space. For example, IPL Week 2 of year 2008 observed Max recording GRP of 507 as compared to Star Plus’ 300 GRPs.
What has it done right?
The ratings come on the back of the sponsorship deal between Star India and BCCI, with Star India becoming the tournament’s official on-ground associate sponsor. Via this sponsorship, Star India plans to promote its flagship channel Star Plus extensively via a post event award ceremony titled ‘Nayi Soch Awards’ at the end of each match. Through this, Star Plus has been successful in taking its channel philosophy beyond television screens and leveraging it on one of the most popular platforms in the broadcast space. Further, the property has been instrumental in garnering eyeballs and reaching out to newer audiences, thereby managing to remain top of mind.
Elaborating on the core concept of the property, Nikhil Madhok, Vice President, Marketing, Star Plus stated, “The idea of the entire initiative was to leverage and communicate the core brand proposition, ‘Rishta Wahi, Soch Nayi’ through IPL for the next few months, as well as to institutionalise the ‘Nayi soch Awards’ across the different sections of the society.”
What is interesting here is that how Star Plus has managed to incorporate its channel philosophy into one of the most watched properties in the Indian broadcast space, as also leveraging the same on a network that houses its competition channel Sony Entertainment Television. Furthermore, the concept ensures that it remains top of mind for viewers, given the fact that it is also bringing in characters from its popular shows for the presentations as well.
According to Anil Cheriyedath, Senior Business Director, GroupM, more participation from the lower population strata has worked in Star Plus’ favour. Overdose of cricket can also be another reason which has led to a certain amount of fatigue in viewers’ interest.
Madhok believes that, as a channel, Star Plus plays a significant role in influencing the audience through the type of content that is aired on screen. But it has been observed that there are people, institutions, etc. who are already pioneering and innovating to bring about a real social change, and are living the philosophy in their daily course of their lives. The initiative has been launched in order to identify and honour individuals and organisations that have broken stereotypes for the betterment of the society.
The initiative was kick-started in Kolkata where Sandhya from Star Plus’ show 'Diya Aur Baati Hum' felicitated Millienium Mams, a non-profit organisation that seeks to empower women through financial literacy.
Apart from the ‘Nayi Soch’ initiative, the channel will be launching ‘India’s Dancing Superstar’, in addition to opening a new time band of 6:30PM with the launch of ‘Ek Ghar Banaunga’.
With the battle between Hindi GECs and IPL intensifying, we won’t be wrong in saying that IPL association has worked for Star Plus at this point. But all said and done, the coming few weeks would surely prove to be a true litmus test for broadcast players.