Market leadership. The most coveted position for any brand and the most difficult to retain in a highly competitive marketplace.
But the Sun Network doesn't believe in giving up easily. After wresting the Andhra Pradesh market from Eenadu Group's ETV almost nine months ago, it is now giving final touches to its plans to ensure it retains its perch, with Teja TV taking on the flanker's mantle in the same market.
"The latest TRP ratings show that Gemini has managed to corner 45 per cent share in the region - which is very good by any standards. Now my entire effort is directed at revamping Teja and making it a strong contender in the Andhra Pradesh market," says Sharad Kumar, director, Gemini and Udaya TV.
For the record, the Sun Network has nine channels in its portfolio, including Sun TV, Sun News and KTV for Tamil Nadu; Gemini TV and Teja TV for the Andhra Pradesh market; Udaya TV, Udaya News and Ushe TV for Karnataka; and Surya TV for Kerala. Teja TV for a year now has been telecasting movies through the day and has routinely created big hype around its 8.30 pm movie - touted as the prime-time movie - much like KTV's 8.30 pm prime-time extravaganza. But the thinking might be changing at Teja TV, what with the decision to beam reruns of Gemini TV soaps in the 7.00 pm and 7.30 pm slot in some time.
Now the question is: Does this imply Sun Network is forsaking its decision to do a KTV with Teja? What about its initial decision to position Teja TV at a movie-only channel and cater to a clear-cut niche audience - as it did with KTV in Tamil Nadu?
Explains Kumar. "We would like to create something wherein viewers who want an alternative to Gemini TV can actually turn to Teja TV instead of some other competing channel. Movies cannot be the answer. I want to capture people who are anyway not with Gemini and are going to some other channel to fulfil their needs," he says.
While the actual details of the new programming mix was not forthcoming, Kumar said soaps rate high on the agenda for Teja TV, which, up until now, has been ambling along by loosely catering to music and movie lovers, in the process, picking up marketshare of 4.61 per cent.
Clearly, the current calibrations at Teja TV's Chennai headquarters are the result of shared learning for the group. "KTV, which was launched in October last year, is acting like a fighter brand for Sun TV. So while Sun TV has not really gained in terms of viewership for itself, it has managed to effectively stem the possibility of viewers being wooed away by other channels. It has thus retained the audience within the group's fold," opines Girish Menon, general manager, MindShare.
And it's time Sun Network did some serious thinking with Teja TV too. Raj TV has been very active on its programming front in recent times and STAR has started flexing its marketing muscles through Vijay TV. "Any big brand finds it difficult to fight on several fronts because it lacks the flexibility of the smaller players who are able to move any which way they please," explains Menon.
So for Sun Network this might just be the beginning of another long and tedious battle. © 2002 agencyfaqs!