We spoke to Aparna Bhosle, business cluster head - English cluster channels, Zeel, about the reason behind the launch.
Zee Café, the English entertainment channel by Zee Entertainment Enterprises, is launching the second edition of BBC First in association with BBC Worldwide. Starting July 16, the channel will begin airing British dramas.
The BBC First content block will feature 12 shows, weeknights at 10.00 pm. The line-up of shows includes - Doctor Foster Season 2, Top of the Lake Season 2, Maigret Season 2, Paula, Wolf Hall, Unforgotten, Broken, In the Dark, Burton and Taylor, The Inceptor, Born to Kill, and The Collection.
To promote the property, Zee Café will be launching TVCs under the #GreatBritainGreatStories tagline. The channel will also engage with its viewers through high-impact out-of-home, print and digital mediums across key mega cities. It will also present a sneak peek into British culture by hosting English tea parties at key media offices.
When discussing the reason behind launching the second edition of BBC First, Aparna Bhosle, business cluster head - English cluster channels, Zee Entertainment Enterprises, says, "Last year, we went through 60-70 shows that BBC Worldwide had to offer and we selected 11 shows and strangely, we knew we were doing something different, but I didn't expect the kind of response we got. Our GVT (Gross Viewership in Thousand) went up by 600 per cent. Our time spent doubled and reach went up by 26 per cent. Earlier the mix was between females and males but was skewed towards females on Zee Café. What this band did was it got a lot of male viewership on the channel for us."
She adds, "You know you have done something right in the programming when there is a lot of conversation on social media about what you are doing. On Facebook and Twitter, there was a lot of discussion about the shows that were on, so it helps. Since it was talked about a lot, we did not have to spend marketing pennies beyond what I already spent since the conversations went on for two-three months. So this time around, we went through a lot of content and selected 12 shows."
Among five channels in the English entertainment genre, for week 27 on BARC ratings, Zee Café is at No 5 with 171 Impressions ('000s). The channels ranking above Zee Café are - AXN at No 4 with 172 Impressions ('000s); Colors Infinity at No 3 with 175 Impressions ('000s); Star World at No 2 with 181 Impressions ('000s); and Comedy Central at No 1 with 332 Impressions ('000s).
When asked how much the new programming lineup will help the channel improve its ratings, Bhosle responds, "We are at No 5 this week. We had around 21 per cent share in the genre and then DEN switched us off in mid-January. It has since then come back, around five weeks ago. It will start going up from here on. A lot of our core viewers are on DEN and that's what we saw after DEN switched us off, so it should go up. So, this is more the function of distribution than the function of content."