Anindita Sarkar

Post Koffee with Karan, STAR World eyes 30-40 per cent increase in ad revenue

The channel plans to tap the luxury brands that are stepping into India.

As the English GEC space gets more aggressive with the entry of new players, STAR World, the English general entertainment channel from the STAR stable, is hoping to maintain its 30-40 per cent growth in ad revenue next year too.

Saurabh Yagnik, senior vice-president and general manager, English cluster, STAR India, says, "There is huge untapped potential in the English entertainment space amongst the elite group in the Indian society. There have been humungous changes in lifestyle; thus, the potential is waiting to explode, both in terms of viewership and ad revenue. New luxury brands are coming into this country and they want a platform. We are here to tap these new players, while adding value to our existing advertisers."

Post Koffee with Karan, STAR World eyes 30-40 per cent increase in ad revenue
While STAR World plans to increase its ad rates next year, media planners believe that it could be a difficult task, given the increased competition in this space. "Also, while STAR World has been one of the first channels in the country to broadcast niche content for English-speaking audiences, their core audience is fragmented over other TV channels and other mediums, especially digital," says Jai Lala, principal partner - the exchange, Mindshare.

Pertinent to note here is that according to media pundits, players in the English GEC space claim an ad rate of approximately Rs 3,000 for 10 seconds.

"But properties like Koffee with Karan are at a premium. It is priced similar to a blockbuster English movie, and maybe even a Hindi GEC," says a top media executive on condition of anonymity.

According to TAM (C&S 25+, All India) data, STAR World's relative share increased from 18 per cent in January this year to 28 per cent in November. However, the upward walk was a little bumpy. In February and March, the channel's relative share fell to 17 per cent and 16 per cent, respectively, before it rose to 19 per cent and then 22 per cent in the next two months.

The channel's relative share was 18 per cent in June, and then moved up to 22 per cent. It remained steady from July till September and then dropped to 18 per cent again. In November, when STAR World launched the third season of Koffee with Karan, the channel's share moved up to 28 per cent. For the record, the peak TVRs of the first four episodes of Koffee With Karan are 0.04, 0.04, 0.01 and 0.02 respectively. In comparison, the peak TVRs of the first four episodes of the property in its second season were 0.06, 0.06, 0.03 and 0.04, respectively.

In the first season, the Rani Mukherjee and Kareena Kapoor episode got a TVR of 0.91. The episode with Amitabh Bachchan-Abhishek Bachchan garnered 0.76 while the TVR for Shahrukh Khan-Kajol show was 0.58 - even its repeat telecast managed to draw a TVR of 0.25.

Now, STAR World plans to double its channel share by increasing the viewers' time spent on the platform and to encourage channel sampling. For this, the channel aims to augment its content line-up with a variety of new shows, sprinkled with some local flavour.

Yagnik says, "Currently, Koffee with Karan contributes almost 15-20 per cent GRPs to the channel. Therefore, we will look at more such content, but the local programming will be done very selectively."

The channel will replace the show with another celebrity-driven talk show. It will also explore the genre of standup comedy with Veer Das on the show, Ripping the Decade, which will be aired on December 31.

Additionally, STAR World also intends to make its international events, such as the Oscars even larger. For its regular English shows, the channel plans to launch 360-degree campaigns, which will include promotions by the international actors who feature in these shows.

According to Yagnik, STAR World's viewership grew tremendously once the local management took over and brought local understanding to the channel. "Earlier, shows were run as weeklies. Later, the stripped format was introduced to maintain the narrative flow through the week; this saw a lot of appointment viewing. Thus, gradually, there came an upsurge in viewership."

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