Surya Food Agro begins testing of news, GEC channels

Surya Food Agro begins testing of news, GEC channels


MUMBAI: The general entertainment channel (GEC) space is growing bigger and tougher with the addition of a new player soon. FMCG major Surya Food Agro had announced in 2016 that it wanted to enter the news space with the channel Surya Samachar. Now, the company is looking to foray into the GEC space for the Hindi masses.

Both channels are currently in the testing phase and are likely to be launched soon. The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting’s list of permitted private satellite TV channels shows Surya Samachar and Surya Sagar Entertainment among them. The entertainment channel will show dramas, Hindi movies and reality shows.

Surya Samachar, the Hindi free-to-air (FTA) news channel, started its test transmission from 27 March 2018. Both channels are being beamed off INSAT4A at 83 degrees east and will be available on all major cable TV and pay DTH services.

The most recent addition to the GEC sector was Discovery Networks’ Jeet with its differentiated purpose-driven content. There is no dearth of FTA entertainment channels either with all the big networks having their presence with Star Bharat, Zee Anmol, Rishtey, Sony Pal and Star Utsav.

In an interaction with earlier, Sab and Max cluster senior EVP and business head Neeraj Vyas highlighted that FTA is a growing investment area. “FTA is a zone which is growing and we are looking at a base between 25-30 million homes now. FreeDish is a very important platform to reach out to masses today,” he said.

According to Broadcast Audience Research Council data of week 12, Zee Anmol, Sony Pal, Star Utsav and Star Bharat retained their first, second, third and fourth positions with 629562 impressions (000s), 502663 impressions (000s), 451600 impressions (000s) and 376909 impressions (000s) respectively.

Moreover, Rishtey, Dangal TV, Big Magic, Zee TV and Colors retained their fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth positions respectively with 316857 impressions (000s), 257564 impressions (000s), 233288 impressions (000s), 206741 impressions (000s), 157823 impressions (000s) and 144025 impressions (000s).

FTA channels are in high demand since they cater to a segmented audience. The success of FTA channels is due to DD's free DTH service FreeDish which has penetrated small towns and rural India. FMCG brands dominate ads on FTA channels with 75-80 per cent of contribution while smartphones, telecom players and two-wheelers have scope too. The channel, if it manages to make a mark, can save advertising cost for PriyaGold and even ensure good reach and revenue with its own channel.

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