Asianet launched its first-ever round-the-clock movie channel, Asianet Movies, last week. And in its first week’s itself the channel scored 124 GRPs across Kerala among CS4+ TG.
However, one question still lingers on one’s mind: for a state that’s obsessed and churns out some of the greatest cinematic experiences, isn’t it a tad late?
- John Brittas
No, came the prompt reply from the business head of the Asianet Network, John Brittas: “It is a known fact that Malayalis love their politics and films. And that is the reason why we have a dozen news channels. However, there hasn’t been a channel fully dedicated to films. So, we are hoping to fill that vacuum with the new channel.”
He further explained that the reason behind the launch is also the size of the market. “We don’t have a Bangalore or Chennai or Hyderabad. So, we cannot act like other channels in other states. We have to look for appropriate time and market to launch a channel.”
- Narendra Kumar Alambara
According to Narendra Kumar Alambara, a South media observer, every time a new genre is introduced, it only boosts the overall industry. “To be frank, the round-the clock-movie channel phenomenon is not new down South, other languages like Tamil and Telugu already have them. Asianet is doing so to up its ante and to be more innovative in the state. And I’m sure it will only take the market a notch up. Also, advertisers will be happy with the new channel as they’ll get more airtime to target their audience.”
Asianet Network enjoys more than 50 per cent share among Malayalam GECs and the network’s prime agenda has been to gain supremacy. “For the past few years, our focus was on consolidating all our channels and establishing supremacy. And only after doing so, that we decided to launch another channel,” said Mr Brittas.
Asianet, today, enjoys an average of 850+ GRPs for four weeks in the CS4+ category whereas another change by the network, Asianet Plus, sees an average of 150+ ratings for the same.
When asked about the competition for the new channel, Mr Brittas said that they were ready for any competition: “We are expecting a few more similar or other channels being launched by other networks in the next few months. So, we aren’t worried about any competition. On the contrary, we think if more channels are launched it will stabilize the market.”
- Vijay Subramaniam
Vijay Subramaniam, deputy general manager, Madison Media Omega, feels that the previous learnings have also played an important role in the launch of the new movie channel. “Networks launching a movie channel has become a trend these days. Asianet, which come under the Star group umbrella, launched its second Hindi movie channel recently. For any network, starting a movie channel is more viable than a GEC because one can easily recover its yield, since movie channels come second to the GECs in the rating business. And also, GECs need more investment, unlike movie channels.”
“I’m sure it’s going to be a win-win situation for all – network, advertisers and of course, the viewers,” said Mr Subramaniam with confidence. The new channel already has a string of big advertisers like ITC and is available across the country and in the Middle East. Apart from telecasting old and new Malayalam movies, the channel also has a wide range of cinema-related programmes like news from the tinsel world, interviews with film personalities and discussions.
A late launch or not, the channel as well as the industry experts are very optimistic about it helping the network gaining more viewership.
Source: MXM India?