Broadcasters unfazed by IPL might

Written by Anindita Sarkar | Mumbai | Updated: Apr 11 2014, 22:07pm hrs
Bogged by the immense popularity of the $3.2-billion Indian Premier League (IPL), many broadcasters, in the past, specially the general entertainment channels (GEC), have desisted from launching new shows and also slowed the story tracks because their loyal viewers, incuding women, move away to watch the games. Not this time, though.

The shifting of the first half of the IPL matches to the UAE and the general election have given broadcasters the confidence that viewers will not be entirely hooked to the IPL. Hindi GEC space that accounts for maximum viewership of 30% across genres has, therefore, decided to put its best foot forward.

For instance, Star Plus, the genre leader and the flagship GEC from the STAR India stable, has decided to launch a new show titled Ek Hasina Thi on April 14, just prior to the launch of IPL on 16 April. The story set in the eastern megapolis of Kolkata will feed the channels 8 pm slot. The show is being produced by production house Cinevistaas. Siddharth Malhotra, creative producer, Cinevistaas, said, While the IPL does impact Hindi GEC viewership, luckily it is not being played in India this time. Therefore, the dip in the show ratings should not be more than 10-15%.

He further adds, The TVR of a show is dependent on two factors reach and time spent. While the reach of a show is driven by a channels programming strategy, the time spent is all about content stickiness. And we are working hard to deliver on that stickiness.

Interestingly, Sony Entertainment Television, the flagship GEC from the Multi Screen Media the official broadcaster for the IPL is also launching a new show called Encounter on April 11. It will air tri-weekly from Friday through Sunday at 9 pm. The broadcasters it intends to ride IPLs popularity and shepherd all eyeballs from IPL to the new show. Rohit Gupta, president, MSM, said, You cannot get a bigger launch platform than the IPL. The IPL is a big platform for the promotion of our shows. So, we do keep a part of our inventory to promote the launch of our new shows as well as the existing ones.

Meanwhile, Zee TV, too, is launching Kumkum Bhagya on April 15 at 9 pm, replacing Pavitra Rishta, which moves to 6.30 pm. The show is based on the novel Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen. Namit Sharma, programming head, Zee TV, said, Today, we are working in a very challenging and an interesting environment. While there are the GECs fighting with each other for a slice of that viewership pie, there is the IPL and the elections, too, as added competitors. The challenge for us, therefore, is not just the IPL. Its the overall environment and how to keep the viewers hooked through entertainment in the face of distraction from areas as diverse as politics and sports.

Zee has announced one show that begins airing from 15 April 15 at 9 pm. Another new show will be launched during the IPL.

Etihad, Jet sign sponsorship deal with Mumbai Indians

Etihad and Jet Airways have signed sponsorship deal naming both airlines as principal sponsors and official airlines of Mumbai Indians cricket team, a Jet Airways release said on Thursday. Among the highlights of the deal will be the display of extensive Etihad and Jet branding and messaging beamed across LED pitch-side advertising and on giant screens in the stadium. This will occur during the Mumbai Indians home matches, including the tournaments first game which will be played at the Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi. In addition, the airlines logos will be prominently displayed on the teams shirts and merchandise, it added. FE Bureau