In the cash-guzzling Hindi general entertainment channel (GEC)
space, the first six-months of the year remained fiercely
competitive. Imagine TV closed down operations, the second
position in the GEC hierarchy was hotly contested, realistic
fiction shows gained attention and Bollywood superstar Aamir
Khan made his debut on television with a socially meaningful
12 April Turner International finally gave up its Hindi GEC
business in India, shuttering Imagine TV after running massive
losses. With Imagine TV, Turners ambition of having
a presence in the GEC genre also ceased. Earlier it had made
a futile attempt with Real, a channel launched with the Alva
brothers as joint venture partners.
have already seen channels like Zee Next, 9X, Real and now
Imagine TV exiting the space. GEC is a high investment genre.
The players will have to constantly deliver innovative programming
in fiction as well as non-fiction to be successful,
says a media observer.
India also closed its second GEC, Star One, and started afresh
under the brand Life OK. Launched in December last year, Life
OK climbed fast and crossed the 100 GRP mark. Sony also progressed
strongly as its fiction properties started delivering.
OK established very fast. Achieving and maintaining over 100
GRPs in less than six months shows a good plan there. Moreover,
what it essentially means is that now from a five-player game,
we have moved to a six-channel market, observes Ormax
Media co-founder and CEO Shailesh Kapoor.
the programming segment, there was a new focus towards fiction
properties with a realistic perspective. Though the trend
started sometime last year with shows like Bade Acche Lagte
Hain (Sony Entertainment Television) and Diya Aur Baati Hum
(Star Plus), shows like Na Bole Tum Na Maine Kuch Kaha (Colors),
Parvarish (Set) and Sapne Suhane Ladakpan Ke (Zee TV) have
capitalised on this need gap.
has been a definite movement towards light-hearted treatment
of content. Stories may still be based around families and
social change, but the treatment is less heavy and emotional
than what it was before, avers Kapoor.
entertainment programming had a mixed menu. While there were
singing and dancing based reality shows (Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa
and DID Lil Master), a few channels also showcased Fear
Files, CID and Crime Patrol (extended to 3 days a week).
is a significantly big universe opening up for crime / thrill
based content, especially with the youth and the lower SECs,
a senior media executive observes.
shows entered a tricky phase, with no fresh ideas coming up.There
is clearly a fatigue as far as reality shows are concerned.
What we are seeing are seasonal properties while there are
no good new formats. Even Survivor India on Star Plus couldnt
captivate audiences. We seem to have saturated the formats
available to us, the executive adds.
general entertainment channels also started exploring some
of the unexploited time bands. Star Plus, for instance, launched
the Aamir Khan show, Satyamev Jayate, on Sunday afternoons.
Zee TV is also readying to air Ramayana on the same time slot.
GECs continued with the practice, started late last year,
of reducing the movie airings. GECs have comparatively
reduced the movie premieres for achieving spikes. But being
a GEC, the need to showcase good movies definitely remain,
a media observer points out.
recent times, both Star India and Zee have shifted their big
ticket premieres on to their movie offerings (Star Gold, Movies
OK and Zee Cinema).
the ad slowdown affected the Hindi GECs? FMCG will continue
to spend big on GECs. So even if television as a whole may
see 8-10 per cent ad growth, GECs will do better. Also, the
automobile industry has a lot of launches lined up and they
will increase their spends, avers Zee Entertainment
Enterprises chief sales officer Ashish Sehgal.
Star India president-ad sales Kevin Vaz, There will
be categories and genres which will be impacted but Hindi
GEC and movie genres will not be affected. The reason being
that the core category FMCG is growing aggressively.
All the players ITC, P&G, HUL, Marico, Dabur -
are spending money. Moreover, automobile is also shifting
focus from print to TV. In April-June quarter, all four telecom
players have also upped their spends.