Television

Discovery India boss Karan Bajaj brushes aside claims of challenges in the infotainment genre

Bajaj has a lot more planned going forward for the channel

https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/smartcrop_800x800/public/images/tv-images/2018/07/27/Karan.jpg?itok=TyTyQuUL

MUMBAI: Is there a leadership scuffle going on in the overcrowded Indian infotainment genre? If you were to look at the last four weeks’ numbers as provided by the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC), it apparently looks like there may be the makings of one. Though it might be a minor one.

Let’s lay out the facts first: market leader Discovery enjoys a 23 per cent All India Urban (2+) market share in the infotainment genre, which is a healthy eight per cent over second placed Animal Planet, another Discovery property. Interestingly, when Discovery Tamil is factored into the numbers game, the channel's share of the pie grows by four per cent. That places the Discovery network miles ahead of anyone else with a national market share of a massive 42 per cent. 

Now on to the minor round of fisticuffs that is taking place. Yesterday, Sony BBC Earth laid out some data claiming that it had edged out Discovery. There was a caveat here: the Tushar Shah-led channel is marginally leading in only the six metros, with  5291 impressions (000s) sum as compared to Discovery with 4965impressions (000s) sum. 

One of the reasons why – industry sources point out - the Discovery India boss Karan Bajaj should not be perturbed by this is because Sony BBC Earth has acquired the market share recently by investing aggressively in distribution on different distribution platforms in the six metros, which he has refrained from doing. While aggressive distribution ploys are indeed becoming standard practice in the competitive Indian TV distribution marketplace, the marginal lead has come to Sony BBC Earth at a cost.

Hence the lanky, bespectacled young professional, who has been helming Discovery India for the past two years, is pleased with how the team is performing at the moment. 

“I just feel incredibly proud with what the organisation has achieved in these two years because our employee strength has remained the same and we launched big initiatives and have also created original content for kids,” he told Indiantelevision.com during an exclusive chat.

He proudly pointed out to the fact that in the year 2018 so far, Discovery has reached 30 million audiences per week, while Animal Planet reached 24 million. The other players: National Geographic and Sony BBC  Earth have managed a reach of 23 million and 19 million per week respectively. 

Bajaj's enthusiasm about his brand and its growth stems from the fact that the network has expanded despite making big bets and taking bold steps like launching Jeet and Veer, a digital channel over the past twelve months.

“So every level that we look at, we are very proud of the organisation that despite taking big bold leaps, the core infotainment television focus continues to be unchallenged,” he said.

Bajaj  points out that the ratings of Discovery Kids have grown by 360 per cent since the start of the year, with the channel being the home to two out of the top three Indians local IPs (Little Singham and Bandhbuk Aur Burbak).

In the lifestyle segment, TLC is ranked number one, with a 33 per cent share (2+, urban). The channel has witnessed a growth of over 10 per cent over the last year when it was placed second on the list with a 30 per cent share. With a 14 per cent upswing in impressions over the past year, eight out of the top 10 shows in the lifestyle genre are from the TLC stable, points out Bajaj.

“Overall if I look at the channel, the majority is global content and talking about the recent shows, there are very strong human interest stories which have knowledge and information that are at the heart of every one of them,” Bajaj said explaining the channel's storytelling style and narrative.

The one blip on Discovery’s progress chart has been Jeet, the bold bet Hindi fictionalized factual entertainment channel that didn't exactly pan out as planned. That should soon be forgotten because the bubbling with energy Bajaj has a lot more planned going forward for Discovery India with new shows and another digital foray on the anvil. And of course he has the full support and confidence of his Europe-based boss JB Perrette that should aide him greatly as the network goes about doing its business in the quickly evolving Indian total video (which is how JB defines the TV acronym) marketplace.

Latest Reads

https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/10/16/out.jpg?itok=bNsHV0ai
NewsX gets into long-term partnership with Outbrain Engage suite of products

MUMBAI: Outbrain, the discovery and native advertising feed for the open web, announced that it has signed an exclusive long-term partnership with News X, one of India’s top English language Publishers. The partnership will allow News X to fully leverage the Outbrain Engage platform by maximising...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/10/16/star.jpg?itok=4eJAHUWG
Star World announces #TheBestBoss contest on World Boss Day

MUMBAI: The Office certainly holds a special place in every fan’s heart for mixing that special mockumentary styled humor no other show has been able to manage. Star World, India’s leading English entertainment channel has brought this rib-tickling comedy series to television screens for the first...

Television TV Channels English Entertainment
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/10/16/cnn.jpg?itok=BEGhasyR
CNN-News18 curate special programming line-up for Assembly Elections 2019

MUMBAI: CNN-News18 has announced extensive programming to apprise the viewers of all the major national and political developments during the elections. After the fierce battle in the Loksabha elections, major political parties have once again geared up for an intense political contest in...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/10/16/net.jpg?itok=vAIIiC0M
Network18 subscription revenue sees 43% YoY growth in Q2 FY20

Network18 Media and Investment has posted 43 per cent YoY growth in subscription revenue in Q2 2020, continuing the 48 per cent growth YoY witnessed in Q1. The company’s digital revenues grew by 10 per cent YoY to Rs 46 crore. Sharp display advertising growth in News18.com (especially vernacular)...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/10/16/dangal-tv.jpg?itok=hSzOHZIK
BARC week 40: Dangal most watched channel across genres

Two channels – Enterr 10 Television’s free to air (Free or FTA) Hindi GEC Dangal and the Sun Tv Network’s flagship Tamil GEC Sun TV having been vying for the top slot in Broadcast Audience Research Council of India (BARC) weekly lists of Top 10 Channels across genres as mentioned by us earlier.

Television TV Channels Viewership
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/10/16/Bastawalla.jpg?itok=EWO5L1Rg
SPN’s Neville Bastawalla on ‘massification’ of niche sports and Australian Open broadcast extension

Sony Pictures Networks India’s (SPN) sports segment is highly focusing on niche segments and so Tennis Australia and SPN have extended their broadcast deal by three years at the official Australian Open 2020 media launch.

Television TV Channels Sports
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/10/16/chrome.jpg?itok=w9ffptr5
Music genre is top gainer in Chrome DM Week 41

Music genre has become the top gainer in week 41 of Chrome Data Analytics and Media data. The genre grew by 1.01 per cent. In this genre, 9XM channel gained the highest OTS with 97.3 per cent in HSM excluding

Television TV Channels Viewership
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/10/15/spn.jpg?itok=Kc7_kZGS
Sony Pictures Networks India doubles the Joy of Diwali with their #AbIndiaAurBhiHappy offer for its premier channels, Sony Entertainment Television (SET), Sony SAB and Sony MAX

MUMBAI: This festive season, Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN) brings cheer to the Hindi entertainment loving Indian viewers through its ‘Ab India aur bhi Happy’ offer. Bringing joy to every household, SPN has announced a special offer, allowing consumers to avail of a festive à-la-carte pricing...

Television TV Channels GECs
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/10/15/epic.jpg?itok=fz5WGrbU
India on a plate: celebrate world food day with Epic Channel

MUMBAI: 16th October 2019 marks the 74th anniversary of the inception of ‘The Food and Agriculture Organization’ of the UN. Since 1979 this historic event has been annually celebrated as World Food Day in over 150 countries. Joining the celebrations, EPIC Channel - India Ka Apna Infotainment -...

Television TV Channels English Entertainment

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories