Cricket may be our favourite sports and its telecast may get millions of unblinking eyeballs, but STAR Plus is non-plussed.
STAR Plus claims that it is unaffected by cricket coverage. Ajay Vidyasagar, senior vice president marketing and communication, STAR India, says, "For the last five years, our programmes have maintained a consistency in viewership, even during the cricket seasons."
"You see, cricket viewership can fluctuate heavily depending on factors such as rain, who wins the toss, who is losing and the teams playing, etc. But STAR Plus is consistent...we have maintained a consistency in the viewership of all our programmes," he says.
The fluctuation in viewership, indeed, affects the advertisers. For instance, in a three-nation tournament, when India plays Bangladesh, the viewership is much lower than the match when India plays Pakistan. And, the problem for the advertisers is that they have to book spots for the entire tournament and pay the same price for both Indo-Pak and Indo-Bangladesh matches.
The current performance of Indian team has also been a concern for the advertisers. Put simply, when India starts losing, the viewership of cricket telecast goes down. For instance, in a particular VB test series match - played between India and Australia on February 8 - as Indian wickets fell early, the viewership of the cricket telecast dropped by 50 per cent, nearly one and half half hours before the end of the second innings.
During the telecast of this particular match, the TVR had reached less than 3.0. On this Vidyasagar claims, "Even the repeat telecast of Kahani... and Kyunki.... has better TVRs than this."
Media planners told agencyfaqs!, a ten second slot, on an average, during the repeat telecast of Kahani... and Kyunki....costs around Rs 60,000, while the same spot during a cricket match costs at an average of Rs 1.5 lakh.
However a question does arise that a cricket match may attain a TVR of 3.0 in the worst cases but it also gets a TVR of 12 or 13 in the best of situations. On this Vidyasagar says, "On STAR Plus, there is a surety that a particular programme will manage a certain TVR, whereas during a cricket match, the TVR can fluctuate wildly."
Whatever may be the scenario, an advertiser is mainly interested in the viewership during the ad-breaks. Even in this case, STAR Plus scores over cricket coverage. As per TAM Media Research (C&S, 4+, Hindi Speaking markets), the average rating during ad breaks (prime time) for STAR Plus is 7.5, whereas the corresponding figures at the sports channels - STAR Sports and ESPN - during the Asia Cup matches were 6.3 and 5.83, respectively.
Generally, the popular shows on STAR Plus has a majority of female viewership, while a cricket telecast largely comprises male viewership. Interestingly, as per TAM Media Research (C&S 15+ Males Hindi speaking markets), STAR Plus has reached out to higher number of male viewers as compared to the sports channels during all major one-day series in 2004.
For instance, in the VB one-day series ( January 9 to February 8) played among India, Australia and Zimbabwe, the cumulative reach of STAR Plus was 2.02 crores, whereas ESPN reached out to 1.93 crore viewers. Likewise, during the Indo-Pak series (March 13-24), the cumulative reach of STAR Plus was 18.5 crores, while TEN Sports' reach was 1.67 crores. A similar trend was witnessed during the Asia Cup ( July 16 to August 1) when the cumulative reach of STAR Plus was 1.87 crores, while that of STAR Sports and ESPN was 1.60 crores and 1.53 crores, respectively.
It's true that viewership of the matches varies depending on various factors such as the day of the match and a suspense-filled match. For instance, during the Asia Cup, the India-Sri Lanka match played on July 18 on a Sunday was a nerve wrecker right till the end. Even then the GRPs of the match fell well short of the deliveries of the STAR Plus top three shows. As per TAM Media Research (C&S, Hindi speaking markets, 4+), the GRPs attained by the match was 128 where as the combined GRPs for the Kasuati.., Kahani... and Kyunki...was 185 during the same week.
"It's time for advertisers to think before investing on cricket," says Vidyasagar.
© 2004 agencyfaqs!