After stealing a march over Asianet in Kerala, Surya TV, the Malayalam channel from the Sun Network stable, has gone ahead and established a clear grip on the state's airwaves. According to the latest TAM report, the channel has cornered 47 programmes in the list of Top 60 programme in C&S homes in Cochin between October 13-19. A company release, citing TAM data, states there has been 'a clean sweep' of the Top 30 programmes on the list by Surya TV. It has maintained an average audience share of 37 per cent whereas Asianet's share stands at 21 per cent in C&S homes.
To put things in perspective, after three years of existence (it was launched in October 1998), Surya TV finally managed to find its coveted place under the sun around this time last year when it inched past Asianet in terms of television rating points. But media planners were skeptical wondering whether Surya can hold on to its lead.
"People here (Kerala) are extremely sensitive. They had such a huge loyalty for Asianet that it was difficult to get them to even acknowledge that anything else could exist," SJ Clement, general manager - programmes, Surya TV, told agencyfaqs! then. "They do not take to dubbed programmes very well, nor are they star-struck like the audiences of Tamil Nadu or even Andhra Pradesh," he said.
It is evident things have changed since then. Strategic programming, a good movie bank and state-of-the-art technology - have all contributed to Surya TV's success. According to a Chennai-based media planner, "The balance was tipping in favour of Surya for some time now. While media planners cannot afford to rule out Asianet because of its immense presence, when it comes to a pinch the decision is usually for Surya."
On that note Surya officials can heave a sign of relief. In fact, Surya has proved clear strength in a couple of time slots quite convincingly. According to the official statement released by Surya TV, the channel has been doing well in the 7.00 pm to 10.00 pm time band with its serials Sthreejenmam and Manasaputhri hitting the charts regularly. To consolidate on its gains, starting November 4, the channel is gearing up to launch another mega serial Abhayam produced by Seven Arts International, which was behind some successful programmes on the channel - such as Thaali, Vaava and Swayamvaram - in the past. © 2002 agencyfaqs!