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Will Sony's Yudh battle its way into higher viewership ratings?

Despite numerous pre-launch marketing initiatives & a star-studded cast, Yudh, which marks Bachchan's debut in the fiction segment, has received a lukewarm response

e4m by Collin Furtado
Published: Jul 30, 2014 7:53 AM  | 5 min read
Will Sony's Yudh battle its way into higher viewership ratings?

The much anticipated premiere of new fiction series Yudh on Sony Entertainment Television seems to have been a disappointment with the first week ratings going below expectations. The series which marks Bollywood A-lister Amitabh Bachchan’s foray into television fiction genre only managed to garner an average rating of 1.4 TVMs according to data from TAM subscribers for week 29 (July 13 to July 19, 2014).

The channel’s ratings too witnessed a decline in the gross viewership ratings from 279 GVT in week 28 to 270 GVT in week 29. The channel which was at No. 2 spot among Hindi GEC channels has now dropped to fifth place.

The series saw numerous pre-launch marketing initiatives, which included the unveiling of a 50-feet tall poster at the Statesman house in Delhi with Amitabh Bachchan, director Anurag Kashyap and the entire crew present, the promotional activity the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) where Bachchan went in character to list his on-screen company with BSE and a heavy digital and mobile campaign, the show in its opening week has failed to catch the audience’s attention. At Rs 3 crore per episode it is one of the costliest shows on television. This coupled with the heavy marketing spends has people asking whether SET’s experiment with the show will get the eyeballs it expects ?

Celebrity quotient not a winner

Yudh which airs from Monday to Thursday at 10:30 pm will run for five consecutive weeks. It is a time slot where ‘Veera’ on Star Plus has consistently maintained its top spot with an average viewership of 6 million.

According to Tarun Nigam, Director, PM Media Solutions, “Yudh is coming at a time slot where it is pitted against Jodha Akbar and other such serials. Just because it’s got a celebrity quotient, does not mean that it will have a success element to it. Amitabh Bachchan being there does not mean that it will ensure the show’s success. Finally, it’s the storyline and the content that matters. Perhaps the storyline must not be as impressive as it could have been.”

Content not appetizing enough

Discarding the notion that a star like Amitabh Bachchan can help the show even if the content is not good, Balakrishna P.M., COO, Allied Media cites the example of the food served in a restaurant to better explain it.

“No one in their right mind can say that a star like Amitabh Bachchan has lost his charm. While you can bring them to the table but the food has to taste right and you can’t force them to eat. So here you open a great restaurant, you had a fantastic packaging and the marketing was all great but finally the food (content) has to taste right for the people to keep coming back. So if the content is not right then all the best packaging will not work,” he explained. 

Similarly, Mallikarjun Das, CEO India, Starcom MediaVest Group said, “Ultimately it is up to the content of the program because all these channels do a good job of marketing the program and the viewer knows that this program is coming on air. Then whether they sample the program and stick to it is driven by the content of the program.”

Only time will tell

Since this is a new genre on television only time can tell whether it will achieve success. Yudh can be closely compared to ‘24’, the Indian adaptation of the US-based show of the same name, staring Anil Kapoor which featured on Colors. It garnered ratings of 3.4 TVMs during the opening week which ultimately dropped down to 2.2 to 2.5 TVMs eventually.

“24 was very action oriented and it was one of the first shows. 24 has been an established series across the world. As a plot people had already checked it out (the international format). Yudh is a different format, you have to give it time. Maybe this is the best that this program will do or you never know whether the plot thickens and people watch it. So I think it is just best to wait and watch and see what happens,” said Balakrishna.

On a similar neutral note Das said, “As far as Yudh is concerned we’ll have to see how the ratings progress. I don’t want to generalize because two things have not done well. The first week has not done well, but obviously it is going to take a little more time in today’s fragmented world for audiences to build up.”

Though we might have to wait for the ratings to ascertain whether Yudh is picking up viewership, it seems to be more unlikely that this show will be able to catapult the channel on top this week. The slow format and intense drama might be a format that would work well for the big screens but will take definitely take time for audiences here to catch on to such a format. In the end not even the power of Amitabh Bachchan might help if the content is not to the audiences liking.  

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Airing of public service content should be voluntary: Broadcasters

The IBDF has written to the government asking it to either delete the stipulation or provide subsidies and tax incentives to broadcasters airing content of national interest

By exchange4media Staff | Dec 7, 2022 8:12 AM   |   1 min read

TV

The Centre has been requested to make the airing of public service content on TV voluntary, as per media reports.

The Indian Broadcasting & Digital Foundation (IBDF) has said in a letter that the government should either delete the stipulation or provide subsidies and tax incentives to those broadcasters who voluntarily air public service content.

Media reports earlier said that the channels may have air content of national interest daily from January 1.

MIB officials were also quoted as saying that they would speak to broadcasters and other stakeholders before coming out with detailed guidelines.

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GroupM's Finecast to host India's first addressable TV summit on December 7

With Kantar, the addressable TV company will also unveil 'The Changing Landscape of Indian Television' report at the summit in Mumbai

By exchange4media Staff | Dec 6, 2022 4:28 PM   |   2 min read

finecast

Finecast, GroupM’s addressable TV company is set to host the “Addressable TV and Beyond” – India’s first addressable TV summit in Mumbai on December 7, 2022. This will be the inaugural summit on Addressable TV in India. The event will focus on how the TV industry is witnessing a transformation and India is set to become the 3rd largest TV market in the next 3 years. It will help distributors, advertisers, and broadcasters understand the changing media landscape. 

GroupM’s Finecast, in partnership with Kantar, will also be unveiling 'The Changing Landscape of Indian Television' report at the summit which will highlight the rapidly changing media consumption habits which will make it more difficult to accurately predict the future of TV viewing in India for broadcasters and the brands. The report will highlight the TV viewing trends & throw insights into how Indian consumers are engaging and consuming TV content. 

Prasanth Kumar, CEO - GroupM South Asia, said “Changing landscape possibilities have opened new possibilities for TV advertisers. Brands need futuristic spaces to reach their target audience as TV consumption patterns continue to evolve. Our report with Kantar is designed to be a guide that will help in exploring what current and new capabilities exist for TV advertisers.” 

Atique Kazi, President – Data, Performance & Digital Products – GroupM India said, “Television advertising in India continues to grow both on linear and even faster on connected TVs. At our inaugural event “Addressable TV & Beyond”, we are enriching conversations on what holds in the Future of TV advertising, use of data, and technology with the TV ecosystem to make TV advertising more welcomed for brands and viewers.” 

The daylong event will include multiple sessions that will discuss the changing landscape of TV in India and showcase some ground-breaking research to leaps forward in measurement to what’s next in the Finecast roadmap – Leading the charge in addressable TV.  The sessions will explore the current and new capabilities that exist for TV advertisers in India along with a sneak peek into how a prominent advertiser uses media to drive attributable business growth.

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BARC rating process has more clarity now: Rahul Shivshankar

The Editorial Director & Editor-in-Chief of Times Now during a roundtable spoke about the channel’s performance, channels pulling out of BARC and much more

By exchange4media Staff | Dec 6, 2022 8:52 AM   |   2 min read

Rahul Shivshankar

BARC in its current avatar is clean, said Rahul Shivshankar, Editorial Director and Editor-in-Chief, Times Now, during a roundtable discussion.

Speaking about the rating system, post BARC resuming the ratings, Shivshankar said there has been no been drop in the channel’s TVT and it has only increased. 

“I'm talking about the manipulation that was alleged to have happened, and there is, of course, an audit report that suggested that Times Now's numbers were being deliberately brought down. And we were selectively targeted because we were seen as the market leader even by a fellow competitor.”

He further added that the system is now clear and clean. “Now we can have arguments over how many meters there should be, whether the system is representative enough or not. But I'm only talking about the process and it suggests there is absolute clarity.”

Talking about the news genre’s viewership, Shivshankar said there has been a growth, both in overall reach and TVT figures. “Every time there's been a new addition, the universe has grown. The collective eyeballs have grown. The challenge is, however, to remain relevant. When you have so many different kinds of media it means we have to approach our content strategy differently.”

He also shared that because of the manipulations from 2017 to 2019 Times Now lost ad revenue and took a hit of almost Rs 400 crore. “Nonetheless, leadership is now with Times Now and the channel still gets double the amount of ad revenue.”  

Post BARC resuming ratings, Shivshankar said Times Now’s share has improved from 24% (pre-resumption) to 40%. The channel retains its leadership in both reach and TSV, he added. 

 

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Can digital compete with TV for sports revenues?

Digital sports viewership has been increasing significantly year over year, even though TV still has a larger audience than all other media

By Sonam Saini | Dec 6, 2022 8:49 AM   |   6 min read

sports

When Viacom18 won the digital media rights for Indian Premier League (IPL) in June this year for Rs 23,758 crore, which was marginally higher than TV rights won by Disney-Star India for Rs 23,575, it demonstrated the potential that the industry was seeing in the online medium. 

Digital sports viewership has been increasing significantly year over year, even though TV still has a larger audience than all other media, with 900 million viewers overall compared to 450-500 million monthly active users online. Will the steady rise in sports viewership on digital pose a competition to television in terms of revenues? Not in the near future, say experts. According to industry watchers, digital sports viewership is increasing faster than TV but digital sports revenue is unlikely to catch up with that of TV anytime soon.


Rise in OTT viewership & CTV

Industry experts believe the growth of the digital medium will be fuelled by an organic rise in OTT viewers in India as well as an increase in sports consumption on OTT.

According to the CII-KPMG 2022, ad revenues for sports properties on digital platforms are expected to be driven by strong advertiser interest in sports than for other content genres. Additionally, subscription revenues for sports are expected to grow as OTT subscriptions increase and these platforms make a concerted effort to transition to a SVOD future.

Vibhor Gauba, Associate Partner, Deal Advisory- M&A Consulting, KPMG in India, however believes that a material shift in advertising monies from TV to digital for the sports genre is unlikely in the near to medium term at least. 

“This difference in sports viewership is also reflected in the advertiser interest as many traditional and digital first brands, still look to TV as the platform to reach the largest audience,” he says.

According to the CII-KPMG 2022 report, only 10 million Indians have connected TVs, which is a result of low fixed broadband penetration and relatively high entry costs. This suggests that TV will continue to rule as a media platform when combined with structural barriers to cord cutting.

“TV is the first choice of advertisers due to its large reach and positive impact on brand KPIs. Advertisers across traditional brands like BFSI, beverages, FMCG, paints, auto, handsets and the new-age categories like online shopping, fintech, edtech, health tech, gaming, and fantasy have leveraged the reach of TV to build brands,” shares Gauba.


Sports on TV will remain relevant 

According to GroupM-ESP Sporting Nation's Making 2022 report, overall digital ad spend in 2021 was Rs 965 crore, more than doubling the value in 2020, accounting for 16% of total media expenses by brands. While both TV and digital ad spends on sports exceeded their 2019 levels, digital ad spends increased by more than 100%.


Sports is the most loved genre on TV with over 730 million viewers in 2022, which is a growth of 21% over 2021, said a senior executive of a leading sports broadcaster. According to him, the overall TV universe stands tall at 900 million with enormous headroom to grow. In fact, 400 million TV viewers don’t even have access to digital video, he said.

“TV is growing and has in fact added 100 million premium NCCS AB viewers in the last three years, which is close to the size of the total OTT subscribers in the country,” shares the executive.

According to the data accessed by e4m, viewership of cricket on TV is on the rise, breaking all-time records. For instance, there was 36% increase in TV ratings of Ind-Aus T20 vs 2019 (highest cume. reach for T20 series),  Asia Cup 2022 had 12% higher TV ratings vs Asia Cup 2016, Ind-SA series in Sep '22 recorded 47% higher TV ratings vs June ‘22. 

A report by KPMG-Sports broadcasting on TV - A match made in heaven, predicted that digital revenues for sports are likely to see robust growth, but would still be roughly half of the TV revenues by FY26. The digital revenue for sports is estimated to grow from Rs 1,540 crore in FY21 to Rs 4,360 crore in FY26, at a CAGR of 22 per cent. 

According to Vibhor Gauba, Associate Partner, Deal Advisory- M&A Consulting, KPMG in India, sports broadcasting on television reaches a far higher audience than OTT platforms at present (close to 2x). This is also reflected in the numbers, wherein the TV sports broadcasting market is mature in terms of the revenues, and with a steady growth, is likely to be higher than the OTT/digital sports streaming market in the near to medium future.

Gauba further shared that while it is a fact that viewership on digital platforms, when it comes to sports, is rising faster than TV (also due to the low base effect), it is unlikely that sports viewership on digital will surpass that on TV in the near to medium term. “TV remains one of the most affordable platforms of entertainment in the country. If you add the subscription costs of major platforms that stream sports and broadband cost, the overall value comes to 3.5-4x that of a monthly TV subscription.”

TV still a preferred medium over digital 


Digital sports revenues will take some time to catch up with TV revenues, says a senior industry observer on the condition of anonymity.

“Without a doubt, digital viewership and revenues are rising, but it will take some time before they even approach TV revenues. I don't believe that TV will ever stop being a preferred medium for brands across all genres, including sports,” he adds. 

Karan Taurani, SVP, Elara Capital, too believes that it's a long way for digital sports revenue to touch TV revenues. “IPL today is making close to Rs 3000-4000 crore revenues, including advertising and subscription, whereas Hotstar is making Rs 1500-1600 crore,” he shares.

“So, even if sports on digital grows at close to 30%for the next three years, it would still be lower than TV because television is also growing by 10-12%. TV as a medium has seen a negative impact because of cord cutting, but sports is one genre which is very consumed on TV because of its live content nature,” explains Taurani.

He further adds, “In terms of content cost, TV and digital are close to 50-50%, but in terms of monetisation there is a big gap. Digital viewership is already at par with TV and might cross TV viewership, but for digital to make that kind of ad dollar, is tough. It's a highly competitive segment.”    

 

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Adani open offer ends: Total shareholding in NDTV at 37%

As per BSE data, the open offer garnered a subscription of 53,27,989 equity shares 

By exchange4media Staff | Dec 5, 2022 8:47 PM   |   1 min read

NDTV

Adani Media Networks has acquired an 8% additional stake in the open offer for NDTV. The company’s total shareholding now stands at 37% in NDTV, say media reports. 

On the last day of Adani Group's open offer on Monday, NDTV shares traded at a 5% lower circuit.

Vishvapradhan Commercial along with AMG Media Networks and Adani Enterprises launched the open offer to acquire an additional 26% stake in NDTV began on November 22 and was scheduled to close on December 5. The open offer did not fully subscribe, as per the latest update on BSE and NSE. Adani garnered around 58 lakh equity shares of NDTV which was not even half of the total size in the open offer.

As per BSE data, the open offer garnered a subscription of 53,27,989 equity shares accounting for 31.79% of the total offered size of over 1.67 crore equity shares. The data is updated till 4 pm on Monday.

On BSE, NDTV shares closed at ₹393.90 apiece down by 4.95%. During trading hours, the stock clocked its 5% lower circuit of ₹393.70 apiece. Its market cap is near ₹2,540 crore. Last week, on Friday, NDTV shares closed at ₹414.40 apiece.

NDTV stock opened on a broadly flat note at ₹413 a piece, however, picked momentum in early trading hours to reach an intraday high of ₹424 apiece but soon after corrected to drop to the lower circuit on BSE.

 

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Drop in startup advertising creating a dent in broadcasters' ad revenue?

Experts say GEC and sports genres have taken a bigger hit than others since new-age advertisers were heavy buyers of reality shows and sports

By exchange4media Staff | Dec 5, 2022 8:55 AM   |   5 min read

TV

The decline in startup funding across segments has had a cascading effect on TV broadcasters. After all, the new-age startups from segments like edtech, fintech, cryptocurrency, D2C brands, and e-commerce had emerged as one of the biggest advertisers on TV in the last two years.

Aided by record fund infusion from venture capitalists and private equity players in 2021, the tech startups had splurged advertising monies on TV channels to build their brands. Thanks to the reach provided by TV, new-age advertisers have become household names in the country. The TV broadcasters also gained big time as the new-age advertisers became top buyers of big-ticket properties like reality shows and cricket.

With start-up funding hitting an all-time low in the second half of CY2022 due to global inflation and geopolitical tensions, TV broadcasters are also facing the heat as startups are focussing on conserving cash by cutting down on discretionary expenses like advertising.

Sujata Dwibedy, chief investment officer, Amplifi, dentsu India, said TV's loss was digital and print media's gain as new-age categories started re-strategising their ad spends due to a funding crunch. She added that the edtech, pharma-tech, and even crypto brands had pulled back their ad spends.

"With the overall shrinking of liquidity, VC funding slowing down, and investment funding shrinking, there is increasing pressure on the startups to focus on the bottom line. Hence, they have started re-strategizing their ad spends. This has led to a drop in ad spends, especially on television. Especially, the key impact properties/ sports events that used to be oversold or blocked by these new brands and at any price have started getting rationalized. The big sports events in the H2 were also struggling to get advertisers this year," she stated.

Dwibedy noted that the traditional categories came to TV's rescue even as ad spending by new-age categories had seen a dip. "Thankfully, in addition to the e-commerce category, the traditional auto, two-wheelers, retail and even telecom for that matter bounced back. Realty and travel categories have also seen some amount of revival. TV did not see a huge drop, thanks to the existing categories which are always on, but the growth slowed down, and the categories which revived not only swung in the favour of digital but gave a boost to print media. In fact, during festivals, we saw two books getting published across lead publications," she added.

According to data sourced from TAM Media, the indexed average volume growth for new-age advertisers/start-ups on TV dropped by 11% in 2022 till October compared to 2021.

Senior ad sales executives from TV broadcasting companies say that the bigger impact of the cutback in ad spending by new-age advertisers was on the value of advertising and not the volume since these companies were big buyers of premium inventory.

"These brands didn't contribute much to ad volumes as traditional advertisers like FMCG still dominate TV advertising. The impact of the drop in ad spends by these companies was on the yield. These advertisers were on a spending spree since they were in a hurry to build their brands at scale. TV was the perfect medium for them since it helps build credibility," said an ad sales professional.

He further stated that the GEC and sports genres took a bigger hit than others since new-age advertisers were heavy buyers of reality shows and sports. "New-age category has virtually stopped spending on big-ticket properties since they are rationalising their advertising spends."

Another senior executive from a leading TV network said that the advertising spends from the new-age brands has dropped by over 50% in 2022 compared to the previous year. He also stated that the broadcasters need to start focusing on new advertising categories like emerging Indian companies which are based outside metro cities to fill in the void created by a drop in ad spends by tech start-ups.


"Broadcasters need to focus on widening their advertiser base to avoid over-dependence on certain categories like FMCG or for that matter new-age brands. Small and medium companies represent a huge opportunity for the TV industry. Right now, these companies are spending a lot on digital advertising which is also reflected in the ad revenue growth of Google and Meta," he noted.

Cheil India Chief Growth Officer Kumar Awanish said that the drop in start-up advertising will create a dent in the ad revenue of broadcasters. With new-age clients re-calibrating their advertising spends, he noted that the digital offerings by large broadcasters have also benefited. "Broadcasters have also created digital offerings and solutions to offer to those new-age advertisers. So, even if ad revenue is going down from one place it is coming to another bucket even if it is not from the same advertiser."

Awanish also stated that the new-age categories are focussing on efficient media buying through different channels. "If you look at the new-age category, they do TV advertising on two occasions. One, when they are close to raising funds in order to attract the attention of the VCs, and second when they want to expand their reach. Certainly, both these are not the case right now," he said.  

As of October 2022, the Top 5 new age advertisers/start-ups on TV are Amazon Online India, Think & Learn (Byju's), Fx Mart (Phonepe), Fashnear Technologies (Meesho App), and Policybazaar.Com. In 2021, Amazon Online India, Think & Learn (Byju's), Policybazaar.Com, Flipkart.Com, and Fx Mart (Phonepe) were the top advertisers.

The top advertising categories from this segment were Ecom-Online Shopping, Ecom-Wallets, Ecom-Media/Ent./Social Media, Ecom-Financial Services, and Ecom-Education. In 2021, Ecom-Online Shopping, Ecom-Education, Ecom-Financial Services, Ecom-Media/Ent./Social Media, and Ecom-Food/Grocery were the top categories.

 

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Bharat Express appoints Hemant Ghai as News Director, Stocks, General Market & Business

Prior to this he was associated with CNBC Awaaz for over 17 years.

By Ruhail Amin | Dec 1, 2022 6:59 PM   |   1 min read

Hemant Ghai

Bharat Express has appointed Hemant Ghai as News Director, Stocks, General Market & Business Segment.

Ghai has been the founder member of the team that launched the Hindi Business News Channel CNBC Awaaz. He was associated with the channel from June 2004 until Jan 2021.

Ghai joined the channel as a summer trainee in 2004 and went up the ladder from Production Assistant (2004), Assistant Producer (2004-2005), Research Analyst (2006-2007), Sr Research Analyst (2007-2010), Associate Editor (2011-2016) and Stocks Editor (2018 to Jan 2021)

He has spent more than one and a half decade in analysing various sectors, stocks and economy in Indian financial markets and has been hosting various business shows and interviewed the who’s who of corporate India for the last decade now.

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