Prajjal Saha

Stunts providing new identity, new viewers to MTV

The channel is getting a distinctive identity with special programming, but media planners feel this won't dilute the brand of the channel as long as it caters to the same psychography of viewers

MTV certainly has got a distinct identity from other music channels and that's for its stunt programmes and special day programming. And, these programmes have had such a strong impact on the viewers that the channel is now known more for its stunt programming than its original programming of music videos.

Close watchers of the industry such as CVL Srinivas, managing director, Maxus, feels that in spite of the growing popularity of such programmes, the brand identity of MTV would not get diluted as long as the channel caters to its original psychography of viewers.

He says, “It's important for a music channel to have special programming as it helps it to be distinct from the crowd.”

Not only do these programmes help MTV to create a different identity for itself, it has also helped the channelit to move ahead in the TVR charts.

On April 1 – the day branded by MTV as 'Bakra Din' – Abhishek Bachchan (dressed as a Sardar) and Rani Mukherjee (as an old lady) made 'bakras' or (fools) of people in a special programme 'Bunty Aur Babli'. This small stunt programme has helped the channel move ahead in the TVR charts.

As per TAM Media Research, (C&S, 15+, SEC ABC, 1 million-plus cities), the premiere of 'Bunty Aur Babli' on MTV got a TVR of 0.25. The interesting part is that the vignette of this show managed a higher TVR of 0.31.

Cyrus Oshidar, senior vice-president, creative and content, MTV Networks India, says, “Bunty Aur Babli was part of our promotional deal with Yashraj Films for its upcoming movie 'Bunty Aur Babli'. We plan to have several such deals with the Bollywood films industry as stunts like this have worked for the channel.”

He adds that several such programmes have helped the channel garner a larger share of viewership. He cites the recent examples of special programmes on Yash Raj Day, Valentine's Day or Women's Day – all of which got high TVRs.”

Yash Raj Day Special, which was aired in October 2004, managed a TVR of 0.13, while special programmes on Woman's Day managed a TVR of 0.10. (Source: TAM, C&S, 15+, 1 million-plus cities). Interestingly, both these specials were aired on Tuesdays when the average TVR is around 0.07. This goes on to show how special programmes work on MTV.

Similarly, Valentines' Day, which was aired on a Monday got a TVR of 0.14 (higher than the average TVR of Mondays, 0.06)

These programmes have also helped MTV increase its market share. On the Yash Raj Day, the channel share of MTV increased to 0.89 per cent from 0.51 per cent (the average channel share of MTV on Tuesdays), while on Valentines' Day, its market share increased from 0.45 per cent to 1.06 per cent.

Regarding the spurt in viewership, Srinivas of Maxus, says, “While these programmes appeal to its loyal set of viewers, new viewers of same psychographics from general entertainment channels also join in for these shows.”

Nandini Dias, vice-president, Lodestar is of the opinion that there is nothing unusual about this branded days or special programming. She says, “All niche channels have such type of branded days in synchronisation with their positioning. And these special days generally get more viewership for the channel.”

Inspired by these successes, the channel is looking forward to movie promotions. Oshidar adds, “We are looking forward to a close marketing tie-up with Bollywood, which could also generate interesting content for us, apart from revenues.”

The channel is also having a special show with Karan Johar, 'Cutting with Karan'.

Apart from these, MTV is also looking forward to a larger format programming and reality shows such as the ‘Roadies’. The third series of the show will soon be launched, Oshidar confirmed. © 2005 agencyfaqs!

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