Post NTO, the marketing focus is to convey the right price: Bavesh Janavlekar, Zee Talkies

Janavlekar, Business Head/Senior VP-Zee Talkies, feels one of the challenges in the MRP regime will be to convert FTA channel households to subscribe to Zee Talkies

e4m by Moumita Bhattacharjee
Updated: Jun 7, 2019 8:32 AM

TRAI’s New Tariff Order (NTO) has impacted the television industry in a big way. While GECs are facing significant drops in viewership, FTA channels are ruling the roost. Same is the case with the regional market. exchange4media spoke to Bavesh R Janavlekar, Business Head/Senior Vice President – Zee Talkies, to understand how has NTO impacted the marketing spends of the channel. Janavlekar admits that getting households viewing FTA channels to subscribe to Zee Talkies is a challenge.

Speaking about the impact of the TRAI order on the channel, Janavlekar says, “It has been a tough time for most of the channels in Maharashtra. If you consider the MRP period vis-à-vis the last three months, there have been drops of 5% all across. It has been a challenging time. However, we are stable because being a movie channel, the reach numbers and the time spent are more or less the same. The MRP phase has slightly dented it. Despite IPL, thanks to the programming that we had, we have been at No. 3 position among the pay channels in the market.”

Janavlekar feels that Cricket World Cup will not impact their numbers as IPL did, and he has a rationale behind it.

“IPL goes on for two months, whereas India matches in World Cup will be only for 9 days. There could be some traction on other matches but I don’t think it will be as impactful as IPL. The latter is consistent for 45 days. In case of the 100-over matches, you will see certain spikes, but it will not be maintained like it happens in a two-hour match in IPL,” he explains.

The TRAI order has also taken a toll on the marketing spends. Elaborating about it, Janavlekar says, “It has affected in terms of creating a strong pull for our brands. Communicating our price was extremely important in the last few days. Not only ATL but in terms of BTL also, we are quite aggressive on the ground. We are meeting and talking to people to ask about converting the packages because unfortunately when it comes to pricing, the communication has not been smooth. In the printed material, distributed by MSOs, the pricing is still wrong. We are putting in a lot of effort to ensure that the right pricing is communicated on the ground. So the marketing focus has been to get maximum conversions on the ground.”

At present, ZEE Talkies’ goal is to convert the households covered by FTA Channels to subscribe to the channel.

“The MRP challenge is extremely critical. The single most important part for us is to go back to our original reach numbers which dropped by around 200-300 bps. On the second hand, there is also the challenge from the FTA channels; how do we convert those households to subscribe to Zee Talkies,” he says. 


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