Zee TV edges closer to Star Plus

The Indian Hindi general entertainment space is heating up and could possibly be on the brink of a huge change as Subhash Chandra‘s flagship channel Zee TV inches closer to Star Plus, Rupert Murdoch‘s key revenue driver in Asia.

The difference in GRPs between the two channels now stands at a mere 48, according to Tam‘s latest data (C&S 4+, HSM, Week 29 - 15 to 21 July).

With Zee TV at 303.4 GRPs as against Star Plus‘ 351.6 GRPs, this is the closest the channel has come to the leader since it was dethroned more than six years ago. While it may be premature to say that Zee will regain its top status, it is surely threatening to do so.

Top 3 General Entertainment Channels
Star Plus
Zee TV
Sony Entertainment TV
( Tam Peoplemeter System, C&S 4+, HSM, Week 29, 15-21 July)

There has been nothing sudden in Zee TV‘s rise in the reckonings. Rather, it has been a gradual maneuvering of its way up the ladder. In the first week of July, the gap between Star Plus and Zee TV was 60, as Star stood 323.5 and Zee at 263 (Tam C&S 4+, HSM, Week 26, 24 - 30 June).

Star took over the reigns from Zee in 2000 with its landmark show Kaun Banega Crorepati with Amitabh Bachchan as host, a monumental year for Murdoch‘s fortunes in the country. Since then, Star has dominated the Hindi GEC terrain.

Star‘s decline has been due to a confluence of several factors - from a saturation of its top saas-bahu sagas Kyunki... and Kahaani, to niche channels eating into the share of the genre. "Star‘s dipping numbers are due to the gradual decline of its top programmes along with Zee‘s steady growth," states an industry observer.

Queried about the threat posed by Zee TV, a senior Star official says, "We would not like to comment on a week‘s ratings. We will only have cause to worry if this trend continues for two to three weeks. At the moment our weekly primetime shows continue to be strong and are at the top of the ratings charts."

Zee, of course does not want to jump the gun in uncorking the bubbly just yet. Zee TV business head and Zeel director Punit Goenka tells that the channel‘s gradual climb is what they have been working hard on for some time. Goenka also credits the rise and rise of his channel with the success that its long running musical show Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Challenge 2007 has been enjoying. Says Goenka, "Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Challenge has indeed given us a big boost over the last two and a half months."

Adds Zeel CEO Pradeep Guha, "This has been built up over a period of time and has been contributed to by each and every show."

A point of note is that even as the competition intensifies between the two top players, a whole bunch of newcomers are warming up in the wings. These include Viacom 18, the Sameer Nair-helmed NDTV Imagine, Indrani Mukherjee‘s 9X and Anuradha Prasad‘s Bag Films, among others. What are the implications that this could have on the television entertainment space?

According to Starcom MD India - West and South Manish Porwal, "The general entertainment genre itself is ‘de-growing‘. In fact, over the last three to four years the space has lost ten per cent every year. This, coupled with the novelty value of new players will give a double blow to the space."

"This phenomena will favour the challenger. It will be a two- horse race for a while," Porwal opines. The second runner up in the GEC space is Sony which is lagging far behind at a GRP of 135.6.

However, Mindshare MD R. Gowthaman points to the diminishing dominance of the GEC cluster. "The capability of the GEC space as a whole to deliver reach is on the decline. The price that the space commands is primarily based on its reach. However, we are witnessing a scenario in which the GEC is losing its reach potential, and this is a major concern from a marketer‘s perspective."

"While the reality is that Zee is catching up with Star, we will soon see a level playing field. These numbers, are only the initial trends of audience movement towards different genres. Within about four to five months this will gain critical mass and the configuration of television clusters will start changing," Gowthaman avers.

Currently, Hindi GEC occupies the lion‘s share of the television pie advertising at 28-30 per cent in HSM markets, says Porwal. But with news channels in particular gaining in importance, followed by movies, the share is only going to tilt further away. It is also important to note that sports, kids and youth channels are gaining significance in the Indian TV space.

TME president Anupriya Acharya shares her perspective on the "dynamic" quality of the television segment. "We have been closely following the turnaround that Zee TV is witnessing by closing its gap with Star Plus. But at an overall level, it is important to note that other niche channels are also eating away from its pie especially news channels and the growth of the second GECs."

That, of course, is a larger issue that the GEC genre as a whole will have to grapple with sooner rather than later. At the moment, all eyes are on whether the challenger will really be able to dislodge the queen bee channel from her thrown.

Latest Reads
Times Network reduces Mirror Now MRP, launches new bouquet for English movie channels at Rs 10

MUMBAI: Times Network has revised the MRP of Mirror Now and introduced a new bouquet of three channels Romedy Now, Movies Now and MNX at Rs 10. According to the new Reference Interconnect Offer (RIO), the broadcaster has reduced the MRP of news channel Mirror Now to Rs 0.5 from Rs 2.

Television TV Channels English Entertainment
COLORS Tamil extends fiction line-up from Monday to Saturda

On popular demand, COLORS Tamil has announced an extension in the telecast of its fiction line-up. Starting 17 August 2019, viewers can now catch their favorite show from Monday to Saturday, offering a perfect start to an entertaining weekend packed with action, drama and more.

Television TV Channels GECs
iTV Network appoints R K Arora as director - strategy and planning

Noida: In an announcement made on Friday by iTV Network, R K Arora joins as director - strategy and planning. Arora has a wealth of leadership experience of around two-and-a-half decades in the news broadcasting, spanning the entire spectrum from strategic vision and planning to execution. He has a...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
iTV Network gives additional charge to Varun Kohli, strengthens senior management team

MUMBAI: iTV Network on Friday announced strengthening its senior management team with CEO Varun Kohli being handed additional responsibility for print companies. Kohli is currently handling India News, NewsX, digital assets and is providing strategic direction, leading teams and strengthening...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
Announcement of Indian men's cricket team coach at 6PM today on Star Sports

Star Sports, India’s leading broadcaster and the ‘Home of Cricket’ to telecast the big and official announcement of the coach of the Indian Men’s Cricket Team today at 6PM on a special programming show ‘Follow the Blues LIVE’ on Star Sports 1 SD/HD. The segment on the show will witness the...

Television TV Channels Sports
Star India distributes eco-friendly flags on account of India's 73rd Independence Day!

In an encouraging and positive endeavour towards a greener India, Star India has distributed eco-friendly National flags which have been sourced from 21Fools. With a novelty in thought, these flags are made out of waste cotton and are embedded with marigold seeds.

Television TV Channels GECs
Shemaroo Entertainment brings devotees closer to Lalbaugcha Raja

Shemaroo Entertainment Limited, India’s leading content powerhouse, has acquired rights for the live feed of one of the most popular Ganpati Mandals of Maharashtra-“LALBAUGCHA RAJA” for Mobile apps, Internet and DTH platforms.

Television Production House Online Content
This Independence Day, Viacom18 celebrates many facets of freedom for Indians

India’s youngest and fastest growing media and entertainment network, Viacom18 celebrated the country’s 73rd Independence Day with a host of integrated campaigns that celebrated the spirit of today’s India and what independence means to its citizens.

Television TV Channels Viewership
Insight TV Announces Co-Production with VICE Studios for Streetkings in Jail

Insight TV, the world’s leading 4K UHD HDR broadcaster and producer of native UHD content, is announcing details of its gritty new series Streetkings in Jail, a co-production with VICE Studios, the production company from VICE. Featuring 4 x 44 minute episodes, Streetkings in Jail will launch on...

Television Production House Fiction

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories