GEC Watch: The Race for Number 2?

By Sapna Nair , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Media Publishing | September 19, 2008
There seems to be unrest at the No. 2 position in the general entertainment channel space, as Zee's position comes under threat

For & #BANNER1 & # long, the most important question in the general entertainment channel space was who would settle as the No. 3 player. The spotlight has now moved to the No. 2 position.

As per TAM Media Research data on C&S, 4+, HSM, Colors is almost on par with longtime No. 2, Zee TV.

While Zee TV managed to grab 18 per cent share in the GEC pie in Week 37, Colors moved up to 17 per cent. Sony Entertainment Television has managed to garner only 8 per cent share, followed by STAR One with 7 per cent. NDTV Imagine and Sahara One both have gathered 6 per cent share. 9X has slipped and managed only 3 per cent, on par with SAB.

It's evident from the data over the last few weeks that Colors has beaten Sony to become the third most popular GEC, and is now aiming for second place. Its daily show, Balika Vadhu, has garnered an average TVR of 5.3, much higher than Saat Phere recorded on Zee. Mythological serial Jai Shri Krishna has also garnered good ratings, in addition to reality show Bigg Boss.

Nandini Dias
Will Zee be displaced by the new entrant? Media observers are not ready to give their answer yet. A senior media planner, requesting anonymity, says that while Colors has had a most promising launch, the real test for the channel will be to sustain its ratings after Bigg Boss goes off air. "Since it's a daily, it contributes a lot to the overall numbers. We will have to see if Colors can sustain its performance after that," the media planner says.

Nandini Dias, chief operating officer, Lodestar Universal, is of the opinion that increasingly, television viewership has become programme driven, rather than channel driven. "While Colors has definitely caught on, I am not sure if it will be able to sustain the shift for a long period," she says.

Dias agrees that Colors has emerged as the No. 3 GEC in recent times. While Sony still has the fourth season of Indian Idol to bank on, Dias hopes that the channel has innovated a little on the format. "Over time, Indian Idol has lost its charm and so many similar programmes have been launched recently," she says.

Zee does not seem to be sitting quiet, however. A new daily, Ranbir Rano, and a weekend show, Ek Se Badhkar Ek - Chota Packet Bada Dhamaka, are being launched on the channel.

When asked about the threat to Zee's position, Tarun Mehra, business head, Zee TV, says, "We are game for the competition. The GEC space will witness a lot of such action. We will let our work speak."