Health 'fit'ting well into ratings plans

Can the Atkin‘s diet help you shed weight faster or is the Calorie Count diet the best way to cut the flab? How do you balance your cardio and weights workout to get that perfect ‘midriff‘ for a lifestyle statement? Whether, it‘s about body toning exercises, diet during pregnancy, managing relationships, tips to look good or about knowing more about your carbs & proteins; viewers are increasingly surfing channels to find such information.

On the one hand we have a growing generation that is ‘body conscious‘ to the core, works out at the nearby gym and has no qualms about displaying a perfect body; and on the other hand, there is a generation growing on a new ism i.e foodism. With the metro restaurantscape exploding with restaurants serving fare that covers a wide gamut from Jewish, Japanese, Korean to Mediterranean; dining out has become a way of life.

So, what have you here? A rather paradoxical situation, what with a "expanding" middle class that is enjoying the trendiest food at the costliest new restaurants and on the other hand has an obsessive horror of obesity and lifestyle diseases. A few statistics reveal the whole story - Diabetes, Hypertension and obesity are widespread in our urban milieu today. Then, of course, heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in India. The World Health organisation predicts that by 2010 India will have 100 million patients with heart ailments.

It is exactly this TG that many of the channels are trying to rope in with their health & fitness shows. For many channels such shows (e.g Doctor NDTV) means broadening the scope of their content, while for some it makes for good weekend programming. Many channel heads vouch that the next big upcoming genre in the metro markets is going to be health and over a period of time good health content will always find an audience.

Looking at the preventive aspect of lifestyle diseases is the country‘s leading business channel CNBC TV18 with its health show The Goodlife Show, that has been on for more than four years now. Elaborating on the thought behind the show, Head Marketing, CNBC TV18 Ajay Chacko says "Business and stress, bad health are almost synonymous. We thought it prudent to focus on various aspects of healthy living that will help executives cope with stress and other ailments that are a result of today‘s hectic lifestyles. Also, with the increasing awareness about lifestyle related ailments and people‘s desires to improve their habits; particularly when it comes to preventive aspects, the Goodlife Show has been gaining ground and is one of the mainstays of our special interest programming. But then we cover these issues with the lens of a business medium."

The show has a panel of experts who are consulted on various aspects from time to time. With a focus on contemporary health issues, the show has proved to be a practical guide to healthy living. Its various segments discuss and provide easy health and fitness solutions relevant to the busy, high-stress lifestyle of the corporate executive - current health issues, expert opinion on health problems in focus and tips on exercise and diet. Moreover, he adds, "our team generally brainstorms over some of the pressing issues faced by people, which are quite lifestyle related; be it cardiovascular ailments or healthy eating tips; the focus is on bringing expert perspective together with a well research exposition of the problem. The show currently has Hiranandani Hospitals, Oysterbay as its sponsors and has a loyal set of viewers.

Mini Menon on ‘The Good Life show‘ on CNBC TV 18

Viewer feedback perhaps contributes maximum to the shows. Most of the shows drive the content based on viewer feedback and queries from viewers seeking specific advice and suggestions on various topics. With a Monday to Friday lineup, topics on the show could range from Nutrition, Pregnancy, sleeping disorders, lifestyle diseases, sexual problems, paedriatics etc.

Explains, Associate Producer, Vrushali Puranik Doctor NDTV, a daily health show on NDTV India, "We have viewers calling in with their queries from as far as Sri Lanka, Middle East and South Africa. Inspite of being a news channel, viewers are very clued on to the show. We make sure that our show is not just informative but also educational and to ensure this we have a panel of the best doctors in the country."

She further adds, "Our target audience is really the upwardly mobile metro audience. So, lifestyle diseases like hypertension, obesity, diabetes and other issues like managing relationships, sexual problems do receive a lot of queries. Sometimes people are not comfortable sharing all the queries with the doctor, or sometimes a doctor‘s visit could just be a brief visit. So, a health show really provides a faceless platform that is highly interactive."

For many of the channels health & fitness shows form a part of their light weekend programming and sometimes an opportunity to target the working SEC AB+ female. Presented in a lighter vein, which is informative as well as entertaining is Sabse Fit, on news channel Aaj Tak. The show draws a perfect match by roping in celebrities who share their fitness secrets, favorite recipes with the viewers. Apart from the medical aspects, the show has also roped in Bharat Thakur, as a Yoga teacher on the show. As viewers increasingly tune in to find effective toning up solutions, the show has added many new elements and segments to the show; including Product Watch, focusing on the various health-care products and gadgets available in the market, Diet Advice, which will focus on the pros and cons of various diet programmes. Then there is alternative Medicine, the segment will focus on the new therapies and medicines available in the market and investigative Health Reports, analyzing health-related advertisements and claims.

But does the genre have the potential to stand alone? Says chairman & managing director, Care TV Atul Saraf, "One has seen a fragmentation in the TV industry and health is definitely an emerging genre of the future. This is because of the social dynamics and in metros people are getting more health conscious and that‘s why you‘d see a number of weight loss centres and fitness centers doing well for themselves. Apart from the fitness aspect, there are the medical aspects, so if you‘re suffering from an ailment like say diabetes and the channel is running a series on the topic, chances are that you will definitely watch it."

He adds, "We saw a gap in the market and decided to launch the channel. And depending on the viewer feedback, we have added live interactive shows which allows viewers to call in with their queries and speak to a panel of doctors."

Top programmes in Health & Fitness category
Channel Programme Dur

Genre TVR Reach in 000s % share
Zee TV Good Health Show 31 Health/

0.46 763 52
Aaj Tak Sab Se Fit 19 Health/

0.3 354 24
NDTV 24x7 Doctor

30 Health/

0.11 97 7
DD Sports Fitness

28 Health/

0.09 243 17
Source: TAM Peoplemeter System

TG: CS 4+

Market: Hindi Speaking Market

Time Period: Aug 1- Sept 30, 2004
Top 10 Health/Fitness programmes
Channel Programme Start Time Day of Week Dur

Genre TVR
DD1 Take Care 1:30 pm Saturday 27 Health & Fitness 0.5
Zee TV Good Health Show 11:30 am Sunday 31 Health & Fitness 0.37
Sun TV Nalamthana 12 noon Saturday 28 Health & Fitness 0.33
DD1 Prakrutik V Yog Chikitsh 9 am Saturday 29 Health & Fitness 0.3
DD Delhi Health Show 3:30 pm Friday 29 Health & Fitness 0.25
Discovery Amazing Baby Videos 8:30 pm Monday 30 Health & Fitness 0.24
Eenadu TV Indradhanushu 8:00 am Saturday 31 Health & Fitness 0.21
Discovery Body Challenge 1:00 pm Tuesday 55 Health & Fitness 0.2
NDTV India Doctor NDTV 3:30 pm Sunday 31 Health & Fitness 0.2
Jaya TV Avasara Shichchai Piriv 9:40 pm Sunday   Health & Fitness  
Source: TAM Peoplemeter System

Target Group: CS 4+

Time Period: Aug 1 - Sep 30, 2004

Market: All India

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