Tata Sky-Sony Spat: Broadcaster’s GEC viewership remains unaffected, says BARC India Data
SPNI’s Hindi GEC viewership has in fact grown by 1.6 billion impressions (prev. 4week avg) to 1.7 billion in week 40 of BARC data
On October 1, Sony Pictures Network India’s 22 channels were dropped by Tata Sky due to a snag in commercial negotiations. However, this does not seem to have dented viewership numbers on SPNI GECs.
According to the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) data on October 1 i.e Monday, when the 22 Sony channels were dropped from Tata Sky DTH Service, there was a visible drop of 12 per cent in viewership of SPNI’s Hindi GEC channels (compared to the previous day). However, viewership recovered to a large extent by Friday, keeping the weekly viewership at similar levels to that of previous weeks.
If anything, SPNI’s Hindi GEC viewership has actually grown by 1.6 billion impressions (prev. 4week avg) to 1.7 billion in week 40, says BARC data.
Tata Sky had also started a Missed call service for subscribers to reactivate Sony channels. As viewers availed the service, BARC India’s technology captured the return of viewers on the channel.
On the viewership numbers, Sony Pictures Network India spokesperson said, “We are delighted to see the growth trend of viewership numbers of all SPN channels has been sustained. This demonstrates the strength of the network and reinforces our content strategy across all channels."
On October 12, TDSAT rejected the relief sought by SPNI seeking Tata Sky to carry all their channels. The court order noted that the parties had been negotiating renewal of the previous contract of Rs 800 Cr, against which Sony was seeking Rs 1700 Cr, despite losing rights of IPL.
Sony issued a disconnection notice to Tata Sky on September 7, which was also published in newspapers on September 10 consequent to which Tata Sky proposed a RIO based agreement effective September 30 midnight for 10 channels which was accepted by Sony. Hence the court felt that reversing the current arrangement would not be in the interest of justice. The parties have been advised by the court to take four weeks and try and reach an agreement amongst themselves. The matter will be taken up again on November 19, 2018 to consider outcome of the negotiations.
The SPNI spokesperson mentioned that they are open to talks with Tata Sky, meanwhile the DTH platform mentioned that there is no update on the matter yet.
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