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English movie channels gear up for 20% ad revenue growth Says Star India GM, senior VP - English Channels Saurabh Yagnik, "There is headroom for growth. The key is to get the content piece right.

18 July 2011

English movie channels gear up for 20% ad revenue growth

English movie broadcasters plan to stiffen their advertising rates as they expect a 20 per cent growth this fiscal due to a genre expansion with the launch of new channels.

Having exhausted their ad inventory space last year, the old English movie channels are deciding to up their ad premium charges amid competition in a year that could see the genre growing from Rs 3 billion to Rs 3.6 billion.

Tapping into new categories would be crucial as the channels ramp up content and loosen their marketing budgets.

Says Star India GM, Senior VP - English Channels Saurabh Yagnik, "There is headroom for growth. The key is to get the content piece right. We have looked to do this by having a multiplier effect for our properties. Our focus is also on widening our client base."

Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited (Zeel) executive director revenue and niche channels Joy Chakraborty believes that fragmentation is an issue. "With more players coming in, the challenge is to hold on to rates. Clients have more to choose from. We have refused some business as we are not going to compromise on our rates."

Zeel expects to maintain its share of 11 per cent in the English movie channel genre. "We expect growth of 20 per cent in line with the genre. The truth, though, is that all English movie channels exhausted their ad inventory last year. The only way growth can happen is by increasing rates. If you do not manage to hold on to rates, you could see de-growth taking place," cautions Chakraborty.

Turner International India, which runs WB among other channels is targeting double-digit growth year-on-year for the channel.

"Our aim is to get clients to sample the international quality environment WB provides to premium brands coupled with our path breaking innovations. As a testament to the fact, there has been over 40 per cent growth in the number of advertisers in H1 2011 over H1 2010. Some of the best blue chip brands continue to advertise on WB. Currently, WB clients span across sectors including lifestyle & beauty, automobiles, financial and telecom," says Turner International India GM, Entertainment Networks, South Asia head Monica Tata.

With more players entering the fray, the key will be to offer differentiated content catering to specific audiences. The HD format is also an attempt to grab upscale audiences.

Times Television Network's English movie channel, Movies Now, believes the genre will expand to Rs 3.8 billion this fiscal. "Given that we have a 34 per cent audience share in this genre (C&S 15-34 SEC A,B 8 Metros), we expect at least a 25 per cent share in terms of ad revenue," says Movies Now channel head Ajay Trigunayat.

A media buyer notes that the category is sold on the basis of

perception as the CPRPs are too high to justify it on that basis. "Star Movies and HBO would have made Rs 2 billion between them. Movies Now's target is achievable, given the numbers they are showing. So you have three main players with Pix at No. 4. They are starting to make a noise with their Sony library. WB has some way to go in terms of delivery, which is surprising given the strength of their library," she says on condition of anonymity.

Asked about the challenges the genre could face this year, the media buyer notes that premium brands are not advertising as much as they used to before the downturn. "The brands have recovered from the downturn. However their business growth has not been dramatic. So their demand for this genre may not be as much as it was earlier. The 20 per cent growth in this genre can happen partly due to Movies Now which is a new player," she sums up.

Source: Indian Television.com

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