Only India still has 70:30 ad-to-distribution rev, says Sony's Neeraj Vyas

MUMBAI: On 13 June, Sony Pictures Networks India (SPNI)’s comedy channel Sony Sab unveiled its latest identity. It has roped in the Bollywood hearthrob Varun Dhawan as its brand ambassador.

The ‘re-energised’ channel will see a new line-up of comedy shows, lively packaging and vibrant visuals aimed at providing an enriching and revitalised visual experience to its audience. The channel has relaunched with new shows but, by August 2017, the channel has planned to launch an exciting line-up for its viewers.

The positioning of the channel as a family channel will remain the same as assured by the network but, going forward, the network has planned to expand the prime time.

Talking to about extending the prime time and launching afternoon band, SPNI Sab and Max cluster senior EVP and head Neeraj Vyas said that it's a learning phase right now. He also said that a channel dropped by 50 GRPs in the last six months, but refused to name the channel.

“(However,) Star (India) seems to be getting it right with the help of its huge base. But, I don’t think it's working for many other people (channels). So, we will wait and watch, because the critical mass audience in the afternoon band is not significant. Also, women are not my primary TG right now. To get them to watch television in the afternoon is difficult. To experiment now may not be the right thing to do, but you never know. We might come up with something like a weekend afternoon," Vyas added.

Speaking about the distribution investment, SPNI CEO NP Singh said, “We have made investment in distribution in the last couple of years. In fact, in the last couple of months, we have made investments across major DPOs -- and, all that will impact the reach of the channel." "This repositioning and relaunch will also help to build the reach," he added.

Prodded about the ratio of distribution and ad revenue, Vyas informed “It's too early to talk about that, particularly, and the television ecosystem at large. We are the only country which still has 70:30 ratio of advertising-to-distribution revenue. Everything needs to be digitised, and there has to be a subscriber management system. Not only for Sab TV but I think, for everyone, the ratio should be reversed.”

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