Television

Star Bharat debut ratings and reach impressive

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MUMBAI: Well, Star India seems to be on a roll these days. No sooner had the euphoria dimmed after it outwitted others with a masterstroke $ 2.56 billion global bid for India’s premier cricket league IPL, it’s now time to savour the success of  rebranded-cum-rechristened channel Star Bharat, which is rubbing shoulders with category leaders in terms of ratings and reach --- and that too within a short period.

On 28 August 2017, Life OK was revamped with a new name, logo, tag line and, of course, a lineup of fresh original shows. It debuted on free-to-air DTH platform DD FreeDish with its parent having successfully bid for a place after coughing up a shade over Rs. 160 million. That Star Bharat continues to be available on other cable and DTH platforms could be another masterstroke.

Now sample the data collated by audience measurement organization BARC India. In week 36, Star Bharat took the second position in the GEC category garnering 669588 (000s) Impressions and 378234 (000s) Impressions, respectively, in the urban+rural and rural markets. The two-week old channel’s reach too had gone up by 15 per cent from week 35-36, while the ratings or impressions grew by 29 per cent.

In contrast, in week 34 of BARC India, Life OK (the earlier avatar of Star Bharat) was placed at 10th spot in the urban+rural market with 328571 (000s) Impressions, while  in the urban market it did slightly better at sixth position with 213162 (000s) Impressions.

Cometh week 35 of BARC India. After an overhaul in name and programming, Star Bharat in its first week of operation climbed to the fifth spot in urban+rural market with 519743 (000s) Impressions. It also made an entry in the rural market at the fourth spot with 278785 (000s) Impressions and in urban market occupied the sixth position with 240958 (000s) Impressions.

An independent observer of the TV industry, having seen many a channel strategy gone awry, admitted that Star’s planning and research regarding distribution and programming does seem to be working. Primarily the FTA platform approach, though audience data provided to indiantelevison.com regarding Star Bharat doesn’t specify whether the viewership and reach is coming from DD FreeDish or elsewhere.

TG: HSM, 2+

Top 10 Channels pre re-branding and post:

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Top 10 Hindi GECs in week 36:

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Here the equation becomes interesting. According to information collated by Indiantelevision.com, a 10-second ad rate for Star Bharat is presently estimated at around Rs 10,000, whereas Life OK commanded a higher price in the range of Rs 30,000-40000/10 seconds.According to the BARC India data, the four-week average for Life Ok (Week 31-34) was 345621 (‘000s) Impressions.However, the average for weeks 35-36 shows a growth of 72 per cent in the viewership of Star Bharat with figures of 594666 (‘000s) Impressions.

“The (sponsorship) rates will pick up once the ratings come. At present, it is just two weeks data. If there is stability in the ratings over the future weeks, there is a possibility that Star Bharat may increase its ad rates. Right now the marketing buzz and hype is pushing the channel, but after a few weeks it will not only stop, but may even out too,” a senior media planner told Indiantelevision.com, adding that the channel, as also the advertising world, will have to wait for at least “four to six weeks” to fairly evaluate the viewership data.

Old shows  such as ‘May I come in Madam’, `Sher-E-Punjab Ranjeet Singh’, ‘Ghulam’ and `Chandrakanta’ have been taken off the air by the channel management of Life OK/Star Bharat, though crime series ‘Savdhaan India’ continues on Star Bharat. The channel in its new avatar has unveiled a content line up that is aimed at living up to the brand’s philosophy of ‘Bhula ke darr, kuch alag kar’ (forget the fear of the unknown and do something different).

So, Star Bharat now flaunts shows like `Om Shanti Om’, `Kya Haal Mr. Panchaal’, `Nimki Muhkiya’, `Saam Daam Dand Bhed’ and `Ayushman Bhav’.

Reach ‘000s for week 35 and 36

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Star has three other channels on the DD FreeDish platform including Star Utsav, Star Utsav Movies and Star Sports First. The last one, which debuted earlier this year, again is a new FTA offering of sorts that has been riding the kabaddi league wave.Indiantelevision.com tried to reach out to Star India for its comments, but could not elicit a response till the time of writing this report. However, if we get some comments on Star Bharat from the channel owner, it’d be updated.

The big question is: will this rebranding and repositioning strategy work for Star Bharat? To use a cliché, only time will tell… oops, sorry, BARC India will tell.

ALSO READ :

Life OK rebranded as Star Bharat may start from 15 Aug

Star Bharat to be available on DD FreeDish as b’caster’s fourth FTA offering

TDSAT 'no' to stay Star Bharat launch, DPO payments subject to adjudication

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