&TV way of entertainment completes one glorious year

MUMBAI: The &TV way of entertainment has completed one year in the most competitive of all television genres - Hindi General Entertainment Channels (HGEC). Despite having a HGEC, Zee TV media Mogul Dr Subhash Chandra's media and entertainment conglomerate Essel Group lead by MD Punit Goenka decided to launch one more and that's how the &TV came being.

Rajesh Iyer was roped in as the business head and he got the perfect combination of programming, distribution and marketing in place to give the channel a perfect ignition. The launch stage was ready and Shah Rukh Khan was the gear-up factor to the ignition. The Fauzi was back on television and a new channel was on air. Sab Se Shaana Kaun generated the much needed buzz. 

From the shows like India Poochega… Sab Se Shaana Kaun ,which was produced by Big Synergy, to Deal or No Deal and The Voice produced by Endemol, the channel has left no stone unturned in making its one year journey glorious.  

Produced by Edit II Production, Bhabhi Ji Ghar Par Hai, was another stepping stone for the channel. This high rated show has created the trend and made other channels to follow the vibes. 

In crime thriller space, Contiloe Entertainment’s Agent Raghav was another successful show for the channel which has also won the 14th Indian Telly Awards 2015 for the ‘best thriller programme.’

“&TV launched as the sixteenth Hindi GEC channel in one of the most competitive and high-stake television genres in India, which was a big risk in itself. The channel had one of the best take-offs a Hindi GEC could have, with an average OTS of 72 per cent (which means 72 per cent of Hindi Speaking Population had access to the channel at launch across all forms of linear TV). To cite an example for comparison, EPIC channel, another competitor in the HGEC genre, had an OTS of 42 per cent during its week of launch. The credit for the channel’s high availability and viewership goes to the distribution team, but must also be shared with the content team. With high interest content like India Poochhega…Sabse Shaana Kaun? at the time of the launch and its highest rated show Gangaa, along with airing mass entertainers like Chennai Express, Entertainment and Agneepath, &TV has struck the perfect balance between off and on-air strategies, resulting in stickiness as well as reach” explains Chrome DM CEO and founder Pankaj Krishna.

Hefty investment in order to get out quality content was the way forward for &TV from it's very beginning. "The channel forayed to thriller with Agent Raghav , produced by Contiloe Entertainment with an investment of between Rs 20 - 25 lakhs per episode. The top viewed shows Begusarai and Gangaa were created at a cost of Rs 8 - 9 lakhs per episode, whereas the Nivedita Basu’s upcoming show Meri Awaaz Hi Paihchaan Hai will easily make the channel dish out over Rs 10 lakh per episode. 

On the other hand, Bhabhi Ji Ghar Par Hai, didn’t start off very expensive but now the show is doing really good hence the production cost has gone up to 15 lakh per episodes. Whereas its show historical show Razia Sultan was created at the cost of 15 lakhs per episodes.  The biggest spend was IPSSK where excluding host over Rs 40 lakhs per episode was spent. So quality was always a priority and the network backed the priority with necessary investments. The channel should be proud of where it stands today" asserts a media observer on condition of anonymity.    

The ad rate card of the channel has seen a 25 per cent hike over the last year and advertisers’ traction has also been evolving thick and fast as per media planners' insights.

Industry reaction on the channel's voyage so far 

Dentsu Aegis Network chairman and CEO South Asia Ashish Bhasin: "It has done better than what was expected. I do feel it has more scope to grow as time goes by. Ultimately, its ability to sustain good content on a continuous basis will work for the channel. The content was well connected with the consumer and that’s one of the reasons why the channel is running successfully. Another, it was also well distributed as a new channel, right from the beginning"

Industry expert and Purple Canvas founder Gaurav Seth: "&TV made a very promising start a year ago, with a fresh slate of content and differentiated offerings catering to every section of the GEC audience. Shows like Gangaa and Bhabhiji were especially entertaining and made extremely well. They have not however been able to crack the weekend primetime band which is critical to any GEC’s success and that, along with a couple of new weekday primetime hits should be on their wishlist for the coming year. But it's been a reasonably successful launch year overall, considering the highly competitive space it has entered."

Big Snyergy co-founder and director Anita Kaul Basu: "India Poochega Sabse Shaana Kaun? was our first show with Zee, though we had worked together with Zee in past before satellite. Rajesh Iyer is a great guy to work with. He is very sorted and precise when it comes to content and programming. Then there was Sunanda with whom we have worked before at the time of India’s Got Talent when she was in Colors. &TV  took a little time to decide about what they wanted to do but when it happened it happened very fast. It was great working with the team. For a new channel and a GEC channel of that scale it takes time, but &TV in one year has made a mark. The channel brought a big international format to India Who's Asking? which Zee Network  has never done before. Hence, The  channel has a great lineup of shows and will soon make great impact in the industry." 

The House of Originals director Nivedia Basu: "I have a very good experience of working with them, in fact when we came with the idea they were so open minded and they have given me as a first timer to do things according to the way I want. They helped me get all these actors on board for the Meri Awaaz Hi Pechan Hai. Many say that they want to work with the top three broadcasters, but I think & TV soon will be among the top five broadcasters"

The journey travelled so far certainly signifies that there is a long way to go, meanwhile the air is all filled with the perfume of promise that reminds one of the Robert Frost quote, "I have miles to go and promises to keep before I sleep."

Viewership data from week 41, 2015 to week 7, 2016 period

Source : BARC


TG : 4+ HSM


Period : Wk 41 - Wk 07'2016


Analysis : Impressions (000s) (Weighted Average for the above mentioned period)

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