Star Plus has been on a new high in the last two weeks. Although the channel has been at the top in the Hindi GEC genre over the last few months, the last two weeks have seen a tremendous jump in ratings. As per data sourced from TAM subscribers for CS 4+, HSM markets, the channel has recorded 728 million TVTs and 708 million TVTs for Weeks 6 and 7 of 2014, respectively. This is the highest ever rating achieved by any channel in any genre.
The pertinent question that arises is what has led to the ratings of Star Plus to cross the 700-million mark.
Gaurav Banerjee, GM, Star Plus said, “We understand our viewers very well. Shows like ‘Diya Aur Baati Hum’, ‘Saathiya’, ‘Ye Rishta’ have been doing well over two years now. Apart from that, shows like ‘Mohabattein’ have picked up and brought a new set of audiences. I think our way of storytelling has struck well with the audiences.”
‘Diya Aur Baati Hum’ has consistently been among the most watched fiction shows in India and is also the highest rated show.
The other side Industry sources outside STAR India mention that over the last two weeks, not only good programming, but also change in positioning and placement have worked well for Star Plus.
Over the last two weeks, the channel has extended its weekday slot to Saturday as well. Therefore, the shows which were earlier aired from Monday to Friday were aired from Monday to Saturday. Observers say that as opposed to earlier, when Saturday was not very high for the channel on the ratings parameter, playing weekday programmes on Saturday has ensured that ratings were as high as weekday prime time slots. This has boosted the overall ratings.
Banerjee said, “I agree that we extended the weekday programming to six days a week and that has helped us in getting more numbers, but many channels have done this before and it did not work for them.”
Senior industry sources, on condition of anonymity, have also mentioned that Star Plus has changed their positioning over the last two weeks in the C- category towns. Sources from the distribution fraternity said that the channel has entered into deals with local networks, a move that has helped them with better positioning in certain markets, which was not the case earlier. When asked, none of the sources provided distribution metrics to substantiate their claims.
Star Plus has been put high in order as a default channel as compared to Life OK (STAR’s sister channel) in the GEC space. The above two developments, as per sources, are confined only to the DAS and cable homes and not DTH homes. Banerjee negated such comments and said, “Had the channel known these measures could have worked, we would have done it much earlier. There is no substance in such arguments.” MediaPro, the content aggregator for STAR India, was not available for comments.