Star Plus trumps FTA channels to emerge as 'most-watched' in overall market

Before this, Zee TV dominated the overall market with 675 million impressions in BARC's week 48 of 2017 (November 25-December 1)

e4m by Sonam Saini
Updated: Jun 14, 2021 9:54 AM
Star Plus

Disney- Star India's flagship pay Hindi general entertainment channel (GEC)- Star Plus emerged as the most-watched TV channel in the HSM overall market, which is usually dominated by the free-to-air (FTA) channels. 

In week 22, according to the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC), India in HSM ((Urban+Rural) NCCS All: 2+ Individuals), Star Plus replaced Star Utsav to lead the top ten channels' list in Hindi GEC (U+R) with 288 million average minute audience.  

Star Plus becomes the only pay Hindi GEC leading the overall market since week 48 of 2017 when Zee TV led the overall market with 657 million impressions (Now impressions are known as AMA). 

The overall market, which is always dominated by the FTA channels like Star Utsav, Zee Anmol or Dangal, has witnessed a pay Hindi GEC- Star Plus leading the space after three and half years. 

"I assume that Anupamaa ratings have helped Star Plus gain that slight edge over Star Utsav in U+R combined, given the show jumps from 3.2 to 3.5 TVR and reach crossing 5," said a senior analyst who wishes to remain anonymous. 

The channel dominated the market on the back of its popular shows, including Anupamaa, Imli, and Ghum Hai Kisikey Pyaar Mein, which are among the leading TV shows in the same market. These three shows are also a Hindi adaptation of Bengali shows and are among the top shows in the HSM Urban market. 

Industry experts believe that Star Plus' adaptation strategy has proved profitable for the channel. Since the launch of these three shows, Star Plus has continued to dominate the urban market.  

According to the BARC India data for week 1- week 15 (Urban) 2021, Star Plus dominated the fiction category. Apart from these three, the other two included the channels' longest-running show Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai. The second season of its other longest-running show is Saath Nibhana Saathiya in the top ten.

"Taking a regional hit show and making them in Hindi or any other languages is not a new trend, but it increases the success rate for that show compared to an original show. Also, around 20-30% of shows manage to get good ratings and have a decent run. Therefore, the adaptation lessens the risk for the channels," said a senior media planner on the condition of anonymity. He further added, "Star Plus has always been strong in the fiction category. However, I believe that this is unlikely to sustain. Star Plus will continue to lead the urban market, but it's unlikely that Star Plus will again lead the overall market. It is too early to predict anything because it has just been one week, and it will not impact the ad rates until this trend continues for a month or two."

Adding to the above viewpoint, Karan Taurani, VP, Elara Capital, said, "This trend has to be sustainable. More consumption is happening in the rural market. Also, the TV penetration in metros is capped-out, and more than capping the number of households with TV is coming down in the metros. Though we are not seeing any major cord-cutting trends, however, in some nuclear families, even that is happening."  

He further added, "I don't think it's a sustainable trend. Rural GECs will continue to rule the charts, and they will make a strong comeback. It may happen for a week or two because of some specific content push, but it will not be the longer trend in terms of sustainability. 

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