Why Zee Bangla’s Samrat Ghosh is looking forward to Durga Puja

He expects this year’s festival to be a good opportunity for brands to spend and induce consumer s

MUMBAI: Zee Bangla and Zee Bangla Cinema cluster business head Samrat Ghosh is really looking forward to the next couple of months, like almost everyone in the industry. A large part of 2020 has been a bit of a washout for the channels that he runs, at least in terms of the topline. But with west Bengal gearing up for Durga Puja, he is hoping to get his charges back on track.

“The sentiment is quite upbeat as viewership is definitely soaring and brand spends are beginning to pick up,” says he with an encouraging smile. “I am hopeful that during the festive season advertisers will start spending to encourage consumption. Apart from the usual categories which advertise, we will see lot of automobile, consumer durable brands also opening their wallets. The local retail brands are also reviving and have started advertising.”

For west Bengal, Odisha, Assam, Tripura, Bihar and Jharkhand, Durga Puja is the time for denizens to do pooja in their homes, go on a spending spree buying new clothes, visit the pandals that pop up all over east India with kith and kin. Additionally it is also a time for gifting near and dear ones.

Held over 10 days, it marks the victory of goddess Durga over the shape shifting asura, Mahishasura. Observers opine that Durga Puja has become a consumerist social carnival with brands going all out advertising as well as sponsoring local community events and pandals, as well spending big on television. A 2013 Assocham report estimated the Durga Puja festival pumps in close Rs 25,000 crore into the economy of the various states in which it is celebrated.

Read more news on Zee Bangla

Ghosh discloses that Bengali TV generate close to Rs 1,200 crore in ad spends annually; a large chunk of that comes during Durga Puja, especially for general entertainment channels (GECs).

“If the advertiser wants to reach out to a consumer who is based out in Bengal, the local vernacular channels turn out to be much more effective in terms of reach,” he explains. “Hence, the GECs turn out to be reach builders in any of the media campaigns for the clients.”

Thanks to the lockdown, the reach of GEC channels has further increased with male audiences also starting to spend more time in front of the television. Ghosh and team studied home bound viewers tastes and introduced content that kept them even more engaged with TV.

“In the absence of original shows we came up with innovative content like comedy shows, and celebrity programs. We conducted various surveys to understand consumer sentiment and how their lives changed during pandemic. Later, we captured all those real-life stories and capsulated them in a show called Lockdown Diaries."

However, with productions being allowed a couple of months ago, a fresh stream of content was churned out by production teams, who continue working in full swing with strict Covid2019 protocols in place, rolling out series that are keeping viewers glued to their TV sets.

Pre-pandemic, he reveals, viewership was growing five to seven per cent in the state, whereas adex was swelling by 10-12 per cent. "I think it is a very healthy growth keeping in mind that many Bengali channels have been in existence for more than a decade," he states.

Since the festivities are held with great pomp even in the neighbouring states of Bihar and Odisha, advertisers have been expressing keen their interest in reaching out to viewers in those markets too, he says.

“What we have seen from the viewership perspective is that the spillover of Hindi in the states is not as high as it is Maharashtra,” adds Ghosh. Bengalis, according to him, love watching shows in their language and about their culture.

The 14-day-long Pitru Paksh Shradh – a period when one pays obeisance to one’s dead relatives and ancestors - ended on 17 September with Mahalaya Amavasya. Unlike earlier years, when the gap between Mahalaya Amavasya and Maha Sasthi (the start of Durga puja) is hardly six days, this year the gap is about a month with the latter falling on 22 October. Bengalis are therefore really looking to celebrate Durga Puja, explains Ghosh. And the long gap has given brands a lot of time to prepare for the festival season, which could well be a good omen for him and the rest of the Bengali broadcasters.

Latest Reads
Delhi high court rules Republic TV cannot use ‘News Hour’

New Delhi: The fight for who holds the rights to the words ‘News Hour’ and ‘nation wants to know’ between Benett Coleman & Co’s Times Now and ARG Media Outlier’s Republic TV has been on for a very long time. Earlier, BCCL had moved the high court seeking a permanent injunction against Arnab...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
Celebrate This Glorious Victory Of Good Over Evil With Some Of The Greatest Heroes And Villains This Sunday On &flix And &PrivéHD

A time of happiness, the festival of Dusshera celebrates a new era, ushered in by the victory of good over evil. On this auspicious day, watch as evil is extinguished with fury and vengeance as glorious battles and fierce action awaits you on Sunday, 25th October 2020 only on &flix and &...

Television TV Channels English Entertainment
Zee Tamil marks the successful completion of the third season of Zee Tamil Kutumbam Viruthugal 2020; To be telecasted on Sundays at 2.30 pm starting 25th October to 8th November

After two successful years of entertaining the audience, Zee Tamil returned with the third season of the Zee Tamil Kutumbam Viruthugal 2020. It was a glorious evening in Chennai where the red carpet was rolled for the Zee Tamil family to felicitate the stars and celebrate the exceptional talent in...

Television TV Channels Regional
Colors Marathi to launch two new shows during festive season

MUMBAI: As part of its Navi Umed, Navi Bharari ethos, Colors Marathi will debut two new shows during the ongoing festive season to provide viewers with wholesome entertainment. Sukhi Mansacha Sadara will launch on 25 October with a special episode and will air every Monday to Saturday at 9:30 pm....

Television TV Channels GECs
Takis Candilis returns to Banijay as senior adviser

MUMBAI: Banijay has welcomed former head of scripted Takis Candilis back to the business as it looks to expand its investment in the genre. Candilis has returned in the capacity of senior advisor and will drive up co-production and new IP opportunities across southern Europe. In recent months,...

Television Production House Post Production
Why Bigg Boss remains the most bankable property for Colors

Ever since its launch more than a decade ago, reality show Bigg Boss – fashioned after the Dutch series Big Brother – has never failed to entertain and titillate audiences. The first edition of the show, with Arshad Warsi as the host, aired on Sony Entertainment Television with a TRP of 2.72.

Television TV Channels GECs
Sportskeeda partners with Lifebuoy to host Rajasthan Royals' Shane Warne and Sanju Samson on SKLive.

In an exclusive interview sponsored by Lifebuoy, the world’s number one germ protection soap brand*, Sportskeeda's interactive chat show SKLive got an opportunity to chat with the Rajasthan Royals’ brand ambassador and mentor Shane Warne and their rising star Sanju Samson.

Television TV Channels Sports
BARC week 41: Colors retains second spot on pay platform & urban market

MUMBAI: Zee TV displaced Sony Sab to bag the third spot on pay platform in week 41 (Saturday 10 October 2020 to Friday 16 October 2020) of Broadcast Audience Research Council of India (BARC) data. Sony Entertainment Television climbed up to fifth position in pay platform. Sony Sab secured fourth...

Television TV Channels Viewership
BARC week 41: Amazon and Flipkart lead top brands list

NEW DELHI: The Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) of India has released its data for top advertisers and brands for the period between 10 October to 16 October 2020. The data reflects the top 10 advertisers and brands across genres on India television, 2+ Individuals, NCCS All demonstrating...

Television TV Channels Viewership

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories

* indicates required