Contrary to some expectations, after the completion of the first phase of digitisation, there are no substantial changes in viewing patterns and channel hierarchies have largely remained the same in almost all genres. Like other genres, the Marathi regional genre, too, shows similar viewing patterns, barring a few changes.
Agreeing with this viewpoint, Shekhar Banerjee, senior vice-president, Madison, states that despite digitisation, the 'staple food' and programming would continue to remain the same. "However, it can't be said how the market will behave in the longer run; as time progresses, the patterns would be visible," he adds.
Continuing at the top in the Marathi space, STAR Pravah has seen a drop in its average GRPs during Week 41 (October, 7 to October, 13) to Week 51 (December, 16 to December, 22), the time of the TAM blackout, vis-à-vis Week 30 (July, 22 to July, 28) to Week 40 (September, 30 to October, 6). The ratings have been mapped on C&S 4+, Maharashtra TG, as per the data provided by one of the TAM subscribers.
The channel has dropped its ratings from an average of 268 GRPs (garnered between Weeks 30-40) to 245 average GRPs (clocked during Weeks 41-51). Currently the channel has acquired 238 GRPs in Week 52 (December, 23 to December, 29), with a relative share of 41 per cent.
However, Zee Marathi has gained numbers on the back of its newly launched fiction properties. The channel, at No. 2 in the market, has increased its ratings from an average of 175 GRPs (Weeks 30-40) to 189 average GRPs (Weeks 41-51). In the current week (Week 52), the channel has gained 213 GRPs (thus decreasing its gap with the No. 1 player). The relative share of the channel currently stands at 37 per cent.
Surprisingly enough, among all the players in the market, ETV Marathi has witnessed a sharp decline in its average ratings from Weeks 30-40 (160 GRPs) to an average 89 GRPs during Weeks 41-51. However, the channel's ratings in the latest week (Week 52), too, were 82 GRPs, with a declined channel share of 14 per cent.
While media planners were doubtful about the sudden downfall in the ratings of the channel, distribution was named to be the only possible reason for the decline. The experts believe that the channel has a pretty decent programming line-up and it is really strange that the ratings have seen such a sharp fall.
Banerjee of Madison stresses on the need to study the Mumbai market and the rest of the Maharashtra ratings separately. "Mumbai has massive contribution to the viewership. It would be insightful to map the ratings for the rest of the state, keeping Mumbai out, for a change. Since it is the only metro in the state that has gone digital in the first phase, the viewership pattern of the rest of Maharashtra will be very important in studying this specific downfall (read ETV Marathi) in the ratings."
However, Nayyar points out that in the wake of digitisation, the market needs to stabilise in terms of viewership and also, in terms of distribution. "A marginal drop in the ratings was witnessed by the GECs across many major markets, too. However, such a dramatic drop isn't possible. Only time will tell what's in store as the major game is about being distribution-led."
Meanwhile, ETV Marathi claims that the ratings could be faulty due to technical errors. The channel has also sent an application to TAM for the same, reveal sources in the channel.
The rankings in the Marathi GEC genre otherwise remain the same. At No. 4, Saam TV has garnered an average of 26 GRPs during Week 30 to Week 40, against 23 average GRPs between Weeks 41-51. The channel has garnered 19 GRPs in Week 52, with a relative share of 3 per cent in the market.
Mi Marathi took the fifth position, registering a marginal increase in the GRPs. The channel got an average of 13 GRPs during Week 41 to Week 51, against 12 average GRPs during Week 30 to Week 40. It gathered 17 GRPs in Week 52 and a relative share of 3 per cent.
Continuing to stand last in the flock, DD10 Sahyadri decreased its ratings, clocking 16 GRPs from Week 41 through Week 51, as compared to 19 GRPs between Weeks 30-40. Currently, the GRPs and relative share garnered by the channel in Week 52 are 13 points and 2 per cent, respectively.