Malayalam GECs resume shooting, hopeful of ad recovery by Onam

Sectors including education, real estate and jewellery have already started advertising

NEW DELHI: After months of standstill, GECs across some states have been permitted to resume indoor shooting of serials with strict guidelines. Regional channels are slowly treading the path to normalcy, Malayalam GECs being one. 

Malayala Manorama Television COO Satheesh PR shares, “Traditionally, most Malayalam fiction has been indoors. There are some arrangements through the government-owned Chitranjali studios to enable outdoor shoot in a controlled environment and we have a large studio floor of our own which will be put to use for non-fiction with all the guidelines being followed.

"MMTv has been fortunate to have been managing a profitable business with a fairly decent-sized team. While the entire industry is facing a cash crunch, I don't think the channel's focus being regional might alter the issue.” 

Zee Keralam too has resumed indoor and outdoor shootings of its programmes and serials from 1 June onwards, strictly adhering to Covid2019 protocols. The shooting is with minimal technicians and crew members following social distancing, wearing masks, gloves, shields and frequently sanitising their hands. The floors of the shooting studio will also be disinfected before and after the shoot.

Zee Keralam business head Santosh J Nair  says that the shooting unit has been downsized and the channel is giving priority to the safety of its team members. 

“Zee Keralam's shoots are happening with limited number of crew members (25 people), as permitted by the government. There is a daily temperature check for everybody and all members present on the shoot are compulsorily wearing masks throughout. Even the artistes remove their masks only for the specific shot. We try and finish the shoot with as less takes as possible to ensure banking of episodes and we bank as much footage as possible within the day,” he explains.

Surya TV has also resumed shooting with 20 people on set. Surya TV business head Reghu Ramachandran shares, “Surya TV is adhering to all government guidelines and having lesser people on the set has not affected the output in any manner.”

Ramachandran adds that  from the content point of view, it is not going to make any kind of adjustment in the quality of the content. "The content will remain intact. Our only aim will be to improve our  revenue share. As far as Surya is concerned, our ratings have gone up and it has become no two. That way our revenues should shoot up rather than coming down. We are also gearing up for some new launches next month and possibly by August, we will have some new properties up and running."

Flowers TV managing director R Sreekandan Nair shares that as a network, it has always focussed on developing in-house content. “Format shows have been our forte for a long time. So, now it will be indoor shooting with limited resources, continuing to develop innovative content to surprise and satisfy our viewers' appetite,” he mentions. 

Nair says that the methodology of programming and ad sales will change considerably. "Human interactions will be minimal and in this scenario, developing and nurturing business relationships will be a challenge. The comeback strategy for Flowers is simple - focusing on our strength, which is highly-engaging non-fiction content,” Nair further adds.

Madison Media chief buying officer Vinay Hegde says that the lockdown forced production shutdown, leading to a dearth of original content and hence, GECs had no option but to resort to repeats. 

"This, along with the shift in viewership to news, made things worse for GECs, where both viewership and ad rates took a beating. Some GECs used their movie libraries to try and retain viewership to whatever extent possible, though it didn’t help in attracting revenues. Y-O-Y GECs saw their revenues down by more than 80 per cent, due to low inventory sales and discounts," he says.

Satheesh shares that MMTv is witnessing greater traction in advertisers' demand in June for both news and GEC as it prepares for Onam in August.

After a two-month break, the serials of Zee Keralam started airing with new content. The seven serials that were already running successfully in the channel went on-air from 1 June. Nair reveals that the channel is seeing an increase in the numbers of advertisers thanks to the ease in lockdown.

The Media Ant co-founder Samir Chaudhary says, “Media Ant has experienced a drop of about 30 per cent in the Malayalam GEC business post-Covid2019. In June, there has been an increase in inquiries but has not translated to business yet.”

Flowers COO Anil Ayroor adds, "We can't change what has happened in the past viz floods, slowdown etc.  But we are very hopeful about the future. It is only a matter of time before the market becomes conducive and advertisers throng back to channels. As much as the media wants advertisers, the vice versa is also true and advertising is the only way to increase sales. And with the biggest festival in Kerala, Onam, coming in August, Kerala will be in a better position to bounce back to normalcy.”

Maitri advertising managing director Raju Menon says that some of the universities, schools, colleges, jewellery brands, real estate and umbrella brands have started advertising again since the ease of lockdown. Umbrella brands are aggressively advertising on GECS due to heavy rains.

Flowers senior vice president of sales and marketing Anil Devan reveals that due to the lockdown, a lot of businesses are under stress as the entire supply chain has been disrupted and advertisers don’t see a reason to advertise if it doesn’t translate into sales. So, it has impacted the entire media industry and Flowers is no exception.

He shares that special packages had been rolled out in order to lure advertisers.  "Now with our original content coming back, we are gradually getting there. Also, what matters to advertisers are the BARC numbers," he explains.  

Adding to this, Hegde says optimistically, "Changes in plans are already indicating that GECs will be back in demand as originals start coming back and week 22 (BARC) already shows the viewership starting to shift back to GECs. Originals will only make this more consistent. Channels estimate that they would be back to at least 60-65 per cent levels of pre-Covid2019 ad revenue by June end itself."

Latest Reads
OTMC brings popular K-drama 'Save Me 2' to India

Content production and distribution hub One Take Media Co (OTMC) continues to be the leader in Korean drama (K-drama) series acquisition in India as it announces to bring the popular K-drama "Save Me 2" to Indian audiences.

Television TV Shows Drama Series
Den Networks posts consolidated revenues of Rs 294 cr in Q3 FY22

Den Networks has released its financial results for the third quarter of FY 2022. The company reported consolidated revenue of Rs 294 crore and consolidated EBITDA of Rs 50 crore.

Television TV Channels Terrestrial
Network18’s revenue up by 16.5% YoY at Rs 1657 cr in Q3 FY22

Mumbai: Network18 Media and Investments on Tuesday announced the third-quarter results for FY 2022. The media company reported its highest ever EBITDA at Rs 373 crore with margins of 22.5 per cent. It reported the highest ever quarterly revenue of Rs 1657 crore up by 16.5 per cent year-on-year....

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
Zeel's sales director Ankit Anthwal moves on

Mumbai: Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd's (Zeel) director of sales Ankit Anthwal has announced his decision to move on from the company after a six-year stint. 

Television TV Channels People
IN10 Media partners with DistroTV to expand Epic channel’s global presence

Mumbai: Epic channel, the flagship channel from the house of IN10 Media Network, has partnered with streaming television platform DistroTV to increase its global presence. DistroTV is a division of California-based media technology company DistroScale. As per the partnership, the channel will be...

Television TV Channels Viewership
VBS 2022: Getting ready for the post-pandemic world is back with the 18th edition of the Video & Broadband Summit (VBS). The day-long summit will be held virtually on 19 January 2022, from 10.00 am to 5.00 pm. VBS 2022 is co-powered by broadpeak. Disney Star is presenting partner and NxtDigital is the summit partner.

Television TV Channels Viewership
EPIC’s new philosophy- ‘Soch Se Aage’- keep the creators going

IN10 Media Network’s infotainment channel EPIC started its journey in 2014 with content focusing on Indian history, folklore, and mythology. And since then the channel has continued to recognize the opportunity for differentiated content and experimented with it.

Television TV Channels Viewership
Mashal Sports releases schedule for second part of PKL 8

Mumbai: Mashal Sports has announced the second part of the ongoing vivo Pro Kabaddi League with next 33 matches to be played from 20 January to 4 February. The event will be broadcast live every day from 7:30 p.m onwards on Star Sports network and Disney+ Hotstar. Out of 132 matches, PKL season 8...

Television TV Channels Sports
The Q announces influencer-led comedy show ‘Hasi Ka Hahakaar’

Mumbai: Hindi GEC The Q has announced its first original for the year "Hasi Ka Hahakaar" with Gaurav Gera as the host. Premiering on 22 January, the scripted reality comedy series will feature popular comedy influencers and artists as guests. The show will air every Saturday and Sunday at 7:30 p.m...

Television TV Channels GECs

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories

* indicates required