Is Colors' afternoon strategy a debacle?

By Sangeeta Tanwar , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing
Last updated : March 16, 2010
Media planners acknowledge the not-so-encouraging performance of the channel's afternoon shows; but at the same time, appear in a mood to give it more time to settle down

In February this year, Hindi GEC Colors launched its afternoon time-band with two shows, Agnipareeksha Jeevan Ki...Ganga and Aise Karo Na Vida. The channel's strategy was to lower its dependence for GRPs on prime time, and at the same time, create a new slot to further widen its lead over other general entertainment channels.

A month later, afaqs! explores whether Colors has managed to match the buzz and expectations created for its new offerings, amongst audiences and advertisers alike.

As per TAM data, C&S 4+, HSM, Agnipareeksha Jeevan Ki...Ganga and Aise Karo Na Vida recorded opening TVRs of 1.39 and 1.6, respectively. In the opening week, Agnipareeksha Jeevan Ki...Ganga got an average TVR of 1.17; while Aise Karo Na Vida garnered an average TVR of 1.32.

In the subsequent week, the average TVR for Ganga came down to 0.83; for Aise Karo Na Vida, the figure was 0.93. As per the latest TAM data for Week 10, the average TVRs of Aise Karo Na Vida and Ganga stand at 1.01 and 0.89, respectively. The top two viewership markets for these two shows are Madhya Pradesh and Delhi.

For obvious reasons, advertisers aren't too happy with the performance of the shows; especially because before the launch, media buyers had expected ratings of 3+, and had also paid a premium, based on this estimate.

Anamika Mehta, chief operating officer, Lodestar Universal, says, "Initially, the channel might have got the expected rates, given the buzz around the shows and encouraging opening TVRs. But with ratings below 1, it will be difficult for the channel to command a premium for its afternoon properties."

FMCG players have traditionally been using the afternoon time-band to achieve lower CPRPs. If this scenario persists, advertisers would approach Colors to strike package deals, by clubbing prime time slots with the afternoon time-band. Or, the channel may be compelled to come back to its original rates, which certainly will not be acceptable to Colors, considering the extra cost of producing and marketing these shows.

However, media planners are not ready to write off this time band so soon. Rajiv Gopinath, chief operating officer, Madison Platinum, quips, "Maybe once the storyline develops, one will see some improvement in the deliverables by both the shows."

Besides, Colors also plans to launch new shows for the afternoon time-band, and together, these shows could build a loyal viewership base.

Currently, STAR Plus is marginally ahead of the rest in the afternoon time band. Two of its shows, Hamari Devrani and Raja Ki Aayegi Baarat claim average TVRs (Weeks 8 and 9) of 1.6 and 1.54, respectively. However, TAM data also indicates a drop in time spent per viewer on STAR Plus during this time-band, which implies that viewers could be trying to catch up with the two shows on Colors too. In such a scenario, there is still hope for Colors.

Despite repeated attempts, Colors did not respond to queries for the story.

First Published : March 16, 2010
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