Television

1 pm weekend slot, the second primetime for English movie channels

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MUMBAI: No one will disagree that at 1pm in the afternoon, the TV remote is controlled by housewives. But on weekends comes an added dilemma. Joining the fray for the remote are her children, husband and in laws all tuning in to watch their favourite movies or shows at the same time. In the ensuing melee are English movie channels that are all smiles as the 1 pm slot, particularly during the weekends has seen an increase in viewership.

“The 1 pm slot today is the most important slot after the evening primetime as it garners the second highest viewership after the 9pm slot,” informs Romedy Now and Movies Now content head Mansi Shrivastav. The channel believes it is a potential target for repeats of previous night’s blockbuster movies. Earlier titles include X-Men: The Last Stand and Ghost Rider-The Spirit of Venegence.

Similar thoughts are echoed by Star India English cluster general manager Kevin Vaz who says that the genre is heavily consumed at this time with Star Movies scraping a 21 per cent relative share. Knowing the slot’s potential, Star Movies had introduced it as a ‘one break movie time’ band to give the viewer a theatre like experience.

Out of the entire day, the afternoon band contributes nearly 25 per cent of the viewership to the English movie genre, claims Sony Pix and AXN EVP and business head Saurabh Yagnik. “The 1pm slot is the second biggest day part for Sony Pix and majority of the viewership comes from younger demographics,” he says. This has come from premieres such as Skyfall, Hobbit, Captain Philips, Hobbit 2, Grown Ups 2 and MIB 3.

Most channels show repeat telecast on weekdays while weekends are reserved for big  premieres.

However, Turner International India English Entertainment south Asia senior director and network head Dhawal Katkar feels that weekday mornings and afternoons are emerging as the new favourite amongst youngsters for its two channels WB and HBO. Whereas, the genre itself has been witnessing a drop in primetime viewership for the entire week, he adds. HBO’s afternoon lineup includes GI Joe: Retaliation, The Hangover 3, Jack Reacher, The Great Gatsby and Star Trek: Into Darkness while WB’s premieres include Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, Due Date, Spiderman, Suckerpunch.

However, channels strictly ensure that adult movies are not repeated in the afternoon. While a movie shown at night may have adult content, the same cannot be shown in the afternoon due to children being present in the viewing audience.

According to media planners, a 10 second ad slot for the 1pm slot movie could command rates in the range of Rs 500 to Rs 4000 in the weekday with a 10 to 15 per cent rise on the weekends.

Maxus managing partner north and east region Navin Khemka says, “Brands are keen to invest at this spot due to the increasing number of premieres and it draws kids and teenagers as well.” The weekend slot is heavy on content he adds.

Another media planner quipped that the weekday spot is picked by women centric brands such as FMCGs and online shopping portals so this time should be more sharply targeted. However Madison Media COO Karthik Lakshminarayan informs, “1pm slot is not a high viewership slot, rather viewership starts picking up post 2pm.”

While media planners vary on the role the 1pm weekend spot plays, they all agree that it helps garner added viewership in a very fragmented segment.

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