Zee paces ahead of Colors, Sab topples Sony

MUMBAI: Running into the ninth week of 2011, the Hindi general entertainment channel (GEC) space is seeing interesting twists and turns.

Even as Star Plus continues to maintain its leadership position, the fight for the next three in the ladder is intensifying.

Zee TV has overtaken Colors to occupy the second spot while Sab has marched ahead of sibling channel Sony to grab the fourth position.
Zee TV, which has been strengthening its weekday primetime band for some time now, has ousted Colors with a score of 233 GRPs (gross rating points) for the week ended 26 February. It added 23 GRPs from its previous score.

Colors, which had come dangerously close to Star Plus in the previous week thanks to the premiere of Golmaal 3 and the rerun of other movies, has shed 58 GRPs in the week under review to aggregate 225 GRPs.

Star Plus has maintained its lead with 297 GRPs (previous week 299 GRPs), according to Tam data for the week ended 26 February (HSM, 4+, C&S households).
Interestingly, family comedy channel Sab has for the first time toppled Sony Entertainment Television (Set) to come into the top-four league.

Sab has added 19 GRPs in its tally to close the week with 153 GRPs, ahead of Set‘s tally of 136 GRPs (previous week 143 GRPs), Tam data showed.

The recent turmoil in the Hindi GEC space comes in the wake of the World Cup that is eating into the share of other genres. This is the second consecutive week that the GECs have lost share as a genre. Also, it is the second consecutive week for market leader Star Plus to remain below 300 GRPs.

On second spot after a long gap, and for the first time this year, Zee TV expects to retain its position for long. Zee TV has been ahead of Colors in weekday primetime for some time. However, weekend movies, special events and episodes were halting Zee TV‘s march forward.

Zee TV and Zee Cinema marketing head Akash Chawla believes that there is no reason for the flagship channel to slip. ?If you look at the earlier IPL series as well, Zee TV is the one channel that has either grown during the event or fallen the least. We are ready to combat IPL this time too,? he says.

For Colors, the two weekend shows under the newly created Saturday block delivered average openings. Wanted High Alert opened with a 1 TVR, while Anhoniyon Ka Andhera earned a TVR of 1.7.
Meanwhile, Sab seems to have retained its loyal audience base with its light-comedy programming. The channel added 20 GRPs during the week on the back of its flagship show Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashma and the newly launched properties.

Says Sab EVP and business head Anooj Kapoor, ?We will keep building on our positioning of Asli Mazaa sab ke saath aata hai and keep providing innovative and refreshing content within the genre of light-hearted family entertainment. We also intend to increase the number of hours of programming as well as invest in increasing our reach.?

Sab claims to be best suited to fight against cricketing properties. Says Kapoor, ?This year also during the cricket season we are seeing consistent growth as viewers have strong channel loyalty. We are going to promote our afternoon repeat shows aggressively to make sure that viewers, who are unable to tune into our evening shows because of the World Cup and the IPL, can watch them in the afternoon.?

Sab has also planned tracks that revolve around cricket fever for some of the popular shows like Papad Pol, and Mrs. Tendulkar.

A close look at the other channels: Imagine TV lost 4 GRPs to close the week with 71 GRPs despite airing the grand finale of the Shah Rukh Khan-hosted Zor Ka Jhataka ? Total wipeout. The two-hour finale managed a 1.3 TVR.

Star One and Sahara One remained at their respective positions with 35 and 30 GRPs respectively.

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