Despite IPL season, no lull for Hindi entertainment channels

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New Delhi | Published: May 6, 2018 3:17:41 AM

Audiences of daily soaps especially loyal; no dip in ratings

ipl 2018, vivo ipl, entertainment industryA total of 371 million viewers tuned in to watch the Vivo Indian Premier League (IPL) during the first week between April 7 and 13

The ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) might be reaching peak levels among both live and TV audiences in terms of interest, but it’s business as usual for the Hindi general entertainment channels (GEC) as well. As they launch new content even as the IPL as in progress, GECs are betting on the varied audience in a household.

“As most households still have one TV set, the remote resides with the home-maker who prefers her daily dose of soaps instead of cricket. This is also a reason why video streaming platforms like Hotstar are able to find a sizeable share of customers. Also, as long as there isn’t any overlap between timing of IPL matches (which are held either in the afternoon or at 8 pm), and new shows, viewers will continue to watch different kinds of content,” says Himanka Das, CEO, Vizeum, media planning and buying firm from the stable of Dentsu Aegis Network.

So you had various channels, right from Star India to Sony Pictures and ZEE launching new shows right before the beginning of T20, or in between the games. ZEE TV rolled out a new show called Ishq Subhan Allah from March 14, Colors launched Bepannaah and Sony released Yeh Pyaar Nahi Toh Kya Hai and Star India launched the second season of its popular show Khichdi and Mayavi Maling from the first week of May.

However, the popularity of IPL still remains strong among viewers. Overall viewership of the tournament across all platforms — TV (in-home and out-of-home) and digital (Hotstar) in the third week among urban audiences was 30% higher than the comparable number of matches last year, claims Star India. The tournament has reached 476 million viewers across screens across India so far.

The broadcaster claims that viewership in regional markets, including southern and West Bengal, grew 38% in number of impressions when compared with last year’s matches played at the same time.

A total of 371 million viewers tuned in to watch the Vivo Indian Premier League (IPL) during the first week between April 7 and 13, data released by Star India showed.

This includes viewership across the 10 channels of Star India, as well as Hotstar. The total viewership on television stood at 288.4 million as per data released by TV audience measurement agency Barc (Barc 2+U+R), while 82.4 million viewers watched the games on Hotstar.

But long running fiction or non-fiction shows on Hindi GECs haven’t seen an adverse impact on viewership, thanks to the existing fan base, while broadcasters continue to launch new shows to maintain stickiness.

Kundali Bhagya aired on ZEE TV which posted viewership of 9694 (000) impressions on week 15 from April 7 to April 13, saw its viewership rise to 11517 (000) impressions on week 17 between April 17-April 21. Kumkum Bhagya, aired on free-to-air channel ZEE Anmol, grabbed the second position, among the top five fiction shows.

The show’s viewership rose to 11218 (000) impressions on week 17, from 10892(000) impressions on week 15 (HSM Urban plus Rural:

NCCS all: Prime time between 6 PM–11:30 PM).

With IPL commanding high advertising rates, Hindi GECs do tend to feel the pinch, especially in case of newly-launched programmes. “Advertising rates completely depends on viewership generated by a show. If a show launched right before IPL or in between is able to garner a good audience, then advertisers do pay good rates,” a senior media planner said on the condition of anonymity.

Instead of selling a single 10-second ad spot, Star India is selling bundled deals to advertisers. An ad slot across all channels along with Hotstar is being sold in the range of Rs 19-20 crore, while ad slots just on Hotstar are about `4 crore. Also, the broadcaster is selling a combination of HD channels along with limited ad slot on Hotstar in the range of `3-5 crore. While a 10-second ad spot on a Hindi GEC during prime-time is priced at around rs 80,000-1 lakh, on a Hindi FTA channel it would cost Rs 20,000-30,000.
Media analysts opine that by launching new shows, broadcasters try to maintain the momentum on GECs. “It’s like having something than nothing. Also, new shows do tend to build some kind of excitement around GECs, which otherwise could see a huge drop in viewership despite a few tent-pole shows. Every channel has two-three marquee programmes,” said Jehil Thakkar, partner and leader (media and entertainment), Deloitte India.

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