Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL) has decided to hike the ad rates of the network by 15-24 per cent, depending on the channels. With the exception of the on-going deals and negotiations, the new rates apply with immediate effect.
Speaking on the thought process behind the hike, Joy Chakraborthy, EVP, Sales, ZEEL, said, “We firmly believe that even today, Zee channels are under-priced and we have been continually correcting the pricing. The Network is doing well and in addition to this, after the expansion in the TAM panels, the results of which were seen January 2007 onwards, the market dynamics really led us to bring in this hike.”
Chakraborthy explained that at an industry level, the new TAM panel had brought in good news for the broadcast fraternity per se. It may be noted that 1 TRP in Hindi speaking markets, (HSM) before January translated to 5.6 lakh viewers and post the expansion it is 8.9 lakh viewers.
There is a 60 per cent growth in cable and satellite (C&S) households and a 61 per cent growth in male C&S viewers for Zee TV. Chakraborthy further explained that the whole industry was contemplating a shift today to cost per thousands (CPT) from cost per rating point (CPRP). He said, “Though the industry benchmark has unofficially has been CPRP, while evaluating, the agencies have been reporting CPT figures to clients. There is an industry talk of moving from CPRP to CPT and that itself shows that all channels, across genres, are still under-priced and really should be paid more.”
In addition to this, Chakraborthy believes that it really is Zee Network’s performance post the expansion in TAM markets that led to the decision to increase ad rates. He said, “The GRP drops have been negligible for Zee TV while competing channels have dropped to the tune of 22 per cent. CAS areas had reflected the best performance for Zee channels – there is growth for Zee in Kolkata and the lowest drops, on a genre comparison, in Mumbai and Delhi.”
The case was similar for the Hindi heartland as well, he said, adding, “A key point is that primetime television on Zee TV delivered 50-80 per cent more absolute viewers.”
Other channels from the Network aren’t far behind. Channels like Zee Cinema, Zee Marathi and Zee Café have encouraging news for the Network. Chakraborthy added, “Zee Marathi has seen a 60 per cent increase in time spent. There is a growth of 50 per cent in Zee Café. All of these are very encouraging in comparison to competition and the results in CAS cities have been just brilliant.”
The last time Zee hiked ad rates was in 2006. The year saw the Network increasing its rates twice in the last year.