Star Plus has registered a steady rise in ratings in the last four weeks and has consistently been placed as the No. 1 channel amongst Hindi GECs, as per ratings data sourced from TAM subscribers.
In Week 16 of 2014 (April 13 to 19), Star Plus’ ratings rose to 790 million GVTs. It was almost double that of runner-up Zee TV, which had recorded 473 million GVTs in the same week. From that week onwards, Star Plus has attained a constant stability with the rating hovering in the range of 650 million GVTs to 700 million GVTs.
As per the latest data from sourced from TAM subscribers, in Week 26 of 2014 (June 22 to 28), the ratings of Star Plus slid marginally to 660 million GVTs (from 661 million GVTs the previous week), while the relative share was at slip 27.26 per cent. But that failed to dislodge the channel from its numero uno spot.
According to Ashish Bhasin, Chairman & CEO South Asia Dentsu Aegis Network, Chairman Posterscope and psLive – Asia Pacific, “It is a competitive market and the relative ranking or ratings of channels keep varying from time to time depending on market conditions, the content on their channels and so on. So every channel is obviously trying to doing its best to get on to the No.1 position and time to time the No.1 position keeps varying and at the moment I think they (Star Plus) are doing quite well.”
Nevertheless, they have managed to steer clear and edge by the IPL and FIFA World Cup storm of SET MAX. Speaking on this, Gaurav Banerjee, General Manager, Star Plus said, “I think if you compare, in previous year’s IPL there were some weeks where IPL was ahead and then we were ahead. So I think this is the first year where for all seven weeks we were ahead. This is all because how good our storytelling has become and how strong our characters are.”
According to Chandru Kalro, COO, TTK Prestige, “I think that IPL fever has died down even among diehard fans. The match fixing scandals have made people a little cynical. Star Plus has a very loyal female audience and I don’t expect IPL or the FIFA World Cup to dent the audience of the channel”. Similarly, Ashish feels that though the final stages of the FIFA World Cup will be broadcasted during prime time spots he doesn’t believe that there will be a significant impact of it on the GEC’s ratings.
The Top 10 list of highest rated shows over the last 8-9 months includes an average of six shows from Star Plus with the highest TVT ratings in the country. According to Gaurav shows such as Mahabharta and Yeh Hai Mohabathen and other new shows placed in the 11pm time slot have managed to draw a large number of young viewers. “Of course our landmark shows continue to be strong. ‘Diya Aur Baati Hum’ has been the top rated show in the country for the past two to two and half years and ‘Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai’ continues to be in the top 5 shows in the country for the last five years. So we have heritage shows like Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai which continue to be very strong and we have strong new shows that which we have launched in the last 9 to 10 months,” he added.
Commenting on the channels continued success Mayank Shah, Assistant Marketing Manager, Parle Products said, “They (Star Plus) have been able to deliver good quality content and they have really been able to understand the pulse of the market. Other channels have not really been able to deliver good quality content and this has increased the gap between the No.1 and No.2 spot. Star Plus has been able to package that content very well in a way that others have not been able to do so. Those are two the major reasons if you ask me what differentiates Star Plus from the other channels.
As the TRP ratings rise, so do the advertising costs. According to Ashish, television in India in general is not very highly priced and that the market has a great self adjusting mechanism so any channel cannot afford to overprice itself. “Marketers will look at Star Plus only if it is efficient. They have increased their rates but that rates have to be justified. So let say your viewership has grown by 10%, if you’re increasing your rate by 10% then it’s okay. But you cannot increase it by probably 20-30% if your viewership had increased by only 10%. Then it becomes less efficient and the moment that happens then marketers shift to other channels,” said Mayank. “Rates are a function of negotiation it depends upon what the volume you’re buying, what’s the scale of your buy, which is the client you are buying for, etc. When you say rate, it is not the card rate. The card rate may be high but you may be able to get a special deal and you will be able to get other value additions. And because of that it levels down to roughly an appropriate level for every channel. We never go by the card rates. The card rates may be X but what you actually buy is much less than X,” Ashish added.