Zee Marathi, the Marathi entertainment channel from the Zee bouquet, has had a good start to 2007 with some growth numbers coming in for the channel in the Mumbai and all Maharashtra markets. Since the beginning of January, Zee Marathi has reported a 22 per cent increase in its reach, while the time spent on the channel has gone up by 35 per cent.
TAM Media Research shows that in the last week of 2006, the channel had a total of 250 GRPs in the all Maharashtra market in the target C&S 4+ for all day. In week 1 of 2007, this increased to 301 GRPs in all Maharashtra. Comparatively, ETV Marathi had 261, DD Sahyadari had 55 and STAR Plus had 326.
In week 2, the figures stood at 319 for Zee Marathi, 258 for ETV Marathi and 351 STAR Plus. The trend is a similar one in primetime throwing better numbers for Zee Marathi.
Elaborating on the various experiments that the channel had done in its programming, Zee’s Nitin Vaidya said, “A lot was done to improve our programme content. There was more interactivity in the shows, we worked toward creating a connect with on-ground programmes. Importantly, we have certain inherent advantages of being a regional channel because the geographic focus that we can manage is better than some of the national players and that has worked in our favour.”
On the programming front, with the introduction of ‘Sa Re Ga Ma Pa’ Marathi, the channel set a platform for encouraging musical talent in Maharashtra. According to Vaidya, “‘Sa Re Ga Ma Pa’ is not the only show that worked, other prime time programmes such as ‘Ya Sukhano Ya’, ‘Awghachi Sansar’, ‘Vahinisaheb’ and ‘Adhuri Ek Kahani’ also contributed to the channel’s shares. Zee Marathi also organises events for the Marathi film and theatre industry such as ‘Zee Gaurav Puraskar’ and ‘Zee Marathi Awards’.”
“The other area of concentration for the channel has been on the marketing side. In addition to the outdoors that preceded shows like ‘Sa Re Ga Ma Pa’, we had associated with social groups in Maharashtra like film societies and so on. We took the channel to the grass root level,” Vaidya added.
In regards to the road ahead, he said that Zee Marathi intended to be more aggressive. “We will continue with the innovation and there will be focus on content and marketing. Earlier, Zee was cost-centric, it will now be a marketing driven channel with good content. The focus would be to be a consumer driven kind of channel,” Vaidya said.