How niche channels have fared so far in 2017

BENGALURU: A number of brands often advertise on niche or speciality television channels to target specific audiences. A specialty channel can be a commercial broadcasting or non-commercial television channel which consists of television programming focused on a single genre, subject or targeted television market at a specific demographic. In this paper, the author has attempted to study the performance of five genres based on Broadcast India Research Council of India (BARC) data in terms of Weekly Impressions (000s) Sumsfor the top five channels for weeks 1 to 12 of 2017 through statistical analysis.

The five genre are (in alphabetical order)

(1) English Entertainment (6 Mega Cities : NCCS AB : 2+ Individuals)

(2) Infotainment (6 Mega Cities : NCCS AB : 2+ Individuals)

(3) Kids’ (All India (U+R) : NCCS All : 2 - 14 years Individuals)

(4) Lifestyle (6 Mega Cities : NCCS AB : 2+ Individuals)

(5) Music (All India (U+R) : NCCS All : 2+ Individuals)

This paper must be read with a caveat: It deals only with the players present in BARC’s top 5 lists of channels per week and programmes per week for each genre. The sums/percentages of other genres/players’/channels of other players as well other channels of players in this paper ratings or Impressions (000s) Sums other than those indicated in BARC’s top 5 lists of channels and programmes have not been considered/mentioned in this paper during the period under consideration and those numbers could be more/higher. Further, Combined Total Impressions or Combined Weekly Impressions mentioned in this paper means the sum of all the Impressions (000s) Sums for all the weeks under consideration of a network and/or channel and/or programme/s.

In terms of Combined Weekly Impressions in (000s) Sums of the top five channels of each genre during the 12 week period under consideration in this paper, Music is the biggest genre, followed by the Kids genre. Please refer to the following table: It may be noted that BARC data for both these genres is from both urban and rural markets, as compared to data from 6 Mega Cities : NCCS AB : 2+ Individuals for the other three genres.BARC provides data for the most successful programmes for the Kids’ genre only.


Music Genre

The top channels that have appeared in the top 5 Music channels -  All India (U+R) : NCCS All : 2+ Individuals list during weeks 1 to 12 of 2017 generally play Hindi Music. Some of the channels play pure Bollywood music, others a mixture of Bollywood and Hindi Music, and Hindi Classical Music while some others play a mix of Bollywood with a spattering of other Indian language and international music.

Five channels – Mastiii, B4U Music, 9XM, Sony MIX, 9X Jalwa have generally been present in the list during the 12 weeks under consideration, except during week 11, when MTV Beats came in at rank 5, while 9X Jalwa exited it in that week.

Sri Adhikari Brothers Television Network’s subsidiary TV Vision’s music channel Mastiii– (Hindi Classic Music) has been the top channel in the Music genre during all the 12 weeks of 2017 as per BARC data for the period. B4U Music from the B4U Group, owned by Lakshmi Mittal, Kishore Lulla and GokulBinani was the second most watched channel during the period. The9X Group’s music channel 9XM came at third spot followed by Sony Pictures Network India’s Hindi film music channel Sony MIX. The 9X Group’s Hindi Classic Music channel 9X Jalwa was the fifth most watched channel during the first 12 weeks of 2017.

Please refer to the chart below for channels and ranking.


Kids’ genre

Five channels have been consistently present in the top 5 Kids channels list  All India (U+R) : NCCS All : 2 - 14 years Individuals during all the first 12 weeks of 2017. They are NICK, Cartoon Network, Pogo TV, Hungama and Disney Channel.

Viacom’schildren’s 24-hour pay channel in Hindi, with the option of English, Tamil and Telugu audio feed on DTH, NICK (Nickelodeon) has topped the top 5 channels list during the period under consideration in this paper. Time Warner’s Turner Broadcasting’s Cartoon Network India was the second most watched children’s channel during weeks 1 to 12 of 2017. The channel primarily airs animated shows in four different languages: English, Hindi, Telugu and Tamil. Turner’s Pogo TV was the third most watched kids channel during the period, followed by Disney Channels Worldwide’sHungama TV having Hindi, Telugu and Tamil dubbed content at fourth place. The Walt Disney Company’s Disney Channel available in English, Hindi, Telugu and Tamil(although many shows broadcast on the channel are only available in Hindi) was ranked fifth during the period under consideration.

Please refer to the list below.


As mentioned above, BARC provides data for the most successful programmes for the Kids’ genre only. Hindi films and programs based on the Indian animated series Motu Patlu on NICK and Pogo TV and Indian animated comedy adventure ChhotaBheem on Pogo TV were among the most successful children’s programs during the weeks under consideration.


Five channels from the Infotainment genre - Discovery Channel, History TV 18, National Geographic Channel, Animal Planet and Nat Geo Wildfound a place in the top 5 channels list in terms of Combined Weekly Impressions (000s) Sums during the first 12 weeks of 2017.

Discovery Communications Discovery Channel in Hindi, Telugu and Bengali along with English and a dedicated channel in Tamil was the most watched Infotainment channel during the first twelve weeks of 2017. Viacom’s History TV18 in eight languages - English, Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu was the second most watched channel during the period under consideration. 21st Century Fox and National Geographic Society’s National Geographic Channel came next, followed by Discovery Communications Animal Planet. 21st Century Fox and National Geographic Society’s Nat Geo Wild was the fifth most watched channel during the period under consideration in this paper.



Five channels have been consistently present in the top Lifestyle channel list (6 Mega Cities : NCCS AB : 2+ Individuals) during the first twelve weeks of 2017. They wereLiving Foodz, Fox Life, Food Food, FYI TV18 and TLC.

The Essel Group’s Living Foodz channel was the most watched Lifestyle channel in weeks 1 to 12 of 2017. Fox Broadcasting Company’s Fox Life was the second most lifestyle channel during the same period.  Celebrity chef Sanjeev Kapoor, Malaysian Astro, and Mogae Consultantschannel Food Food came next, followed by A+E Networks and TV18’s FYI TV18 channel that is available in 8 languages including English, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, and Bengali at fourth place. Discovery Communications TLC was the fifth most watched Lifestyle channel during the first 12 weeks of 2017.

Please see the list below:


English Entertainment

During the first twelve weeks of 2017, the English Entertainment genre was dominated mainly by five channels - Comedy Central, STAR World, Zee Café, Colors Infinity SD and AXN, except for 3 of the 12 weeks when Fox’s FX channel entered the list, while AXN exited it.

Viacom’s Comedy Central topped the lists in seven of the twelve weeks under consideration, followed by Star India’s Star World which topped the lists for five weeks. The Essel Group’s Zee Café was third, with Viacom 18’s Colors Infinity SD. Sony Pictures Network India’s AXN at fifth place.

Please refer to the chart below:


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