Multi Screen Media strategically pushed Sony Aath to air the Bengali feed of the on-going FIFA World Cup. The decision seemed to have worked wonders as the channel witnessed a whopping 265 per cent rise in viewership.
The channel's overall reach increased from 29 per cent in the pre-FIFA phase to 44 per cent in past four weeks - a growth of 52 per cent in reach. According to Tushar Shah, SVP, MSM, who also manages the operations of Sony Aath, the FIFA World Cup 2014 has worked fabulously for the channel, both from the reach and ratings perspective.
"We have got an overall 9-10 million viewers on channel. While 5.4 million of them are males (55 per cent), 4.4 million are females (45 per cent). On the advertisers' front, our inventory is over 100 per cent. The brand, Sony Aath, is going from strength to strength and is placed at No.3 today. It has improved awareness, recall, increase in affinity, courtesy FIFA," says Shah.
As for the male, female split, Shah points out that around 45 per cent viewership for the tournament came from females. In terms of viewership numbers, males contributed 3793 GTVTs pre-FIFA (week 20-23). That increased to 16836 GTVTs (week 24-27).
The GTVT numbers for females, meanwhile, grew from 3930 (four weeks prior to the launch) to 11382 (four weeks post FIFA launch). The viewership numbers for females saw an increase of 190 per cent. Sony Aath's channel share in the genre increased by 204 per cent - to 7.6 per cent in week 20-23, compared to 2.5 per cent during week 24-27.
The average ratings of the 59 matches so far on Sony Six are 605 TVTs (C&S, male, 15+, All India) while for the same market, the ratings on Sony Aath and Pix are 209 TVTs and 85 TVTs, respectively.
The channel is now working on a few fiction shows that will replace FIFA. Besides, Sony Aath is airing the dubbed version of Maharana Pratap that will continue to draw traction.
FIFA on Sony Six...
Meanwhile, the action on Sony Six continued unabated too. As per TAM, Sony Six has been ruling the genre for the past 11 weeks (week 16-26; 13 April-5 July 2014). And it wasn't just football. Sony Six had the seventh season of the Indian Premier League, prior to FIFA World Cup.
Talking about the response on FIFA World Cup 2014, Prasana Krishnan, business head, Sony Six adds, "This is the eleventh consecutive week when we are leading in the genre. After the quarterfinals, we saw a viewership of 50 million. Brazil's is the worst time zone because many matches were played at post mid-night slots. The reach and numbers that we have got are primarily because of 9.30 pm telecast of matches. The 2018 World Cup should generate better viewership since it is taking place in Russia."
The reach (in thousands) garnered by Sony Six during FIFA is 43,968 (C&S, 4+, All India). According to the channel, in 2014 and 2010 FIFA WC has witnessed 67 per cent male viewers and 33 per cent female viewers. As for Sony Six, almost 33-35 per cent viewership of the matches came from females. "These were not passive audiences. These are the numbers for females who were involved in the matches and watched them actively," Krishnan adds.