In the effects following the rollout of the new regulatory framework from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai), we have seen lots of parameters change like pricing of channels, monthly subscription bills, and even viewership. While nobody expected the viewership to take hit by large margins for some channels, it has undoubtedly happened. Many big broadcasters like Zee Entertainment Enterprises (ZEEL), Star India, Viacom18 and Sony Pictures have withdrawn their channels from Doordarshan’s FreeDish platform even though they enjoyed substantial viewership over there. However, this move of the broadcasters has led to other channels taking the limelight of these channels and enjoying increased viewership.
Dangan TV and Big Magic Enjoy Increased Viewership
Going by the words of an Edelweiss report, since a lot of the previously popular channels like Zee Anmol, Sony Pal, Star Utsav and Star Bharat have stopped broadcasting on the platform, lesser-known channels like Dangal TV and Big Magic have seen a massive rise in their viewership. This rise in viewership has been as much as two to three times on an average in the Hindi GEC rural segment. The report highlighted that the cumulative share of the Hindi GEC channels (rural) for first to the fifth week was around 79% across seven channels, whereas in the 14th-17th week, this had decreased to 59% across three channels. This news was reported by Financial Express.
The report also showed the numbers which made the picture pretty clear about the viewership of these channels. After the new Trai tariff regime, Dangal TV, which is a channel owned by Enterr10, was boasting a viewership of 21% (which was 8% before the tariff order), and ZEEL’s Big Magic around 15% in the Hindi GEC segment. On the other hand, Star Bharat’s viewership share had declined to 6% while Sony Pal’s to 2.5% after the rollout of the new framework. In the 14th – 17th week, Zee Anmol and Colors Rishtey did not even feature in the top ten channels list.
Advertising Revenue of Lesser Known Channels Also Shoots Up
It’s interesting to note that Dangal TV, which was the biggest gainer in this period was actually a Bhojpuri channel, but it turned into a Hindi GEC channel by airing old shows like Mahima Shani Dev Ki, Ramayan and Baba Aiso Var Dhundo. On the other hand, Big Magic was acquired by ZEEL back in 2016, and it airs original content.
Ashish Sehgal, chief growth officer, ZEEL said about this phenomenon, “We will evaluate the content mix of original and library content for Zee Anmol. This would come into play as soon as the latent demand surges, which is expected in the near future as consumers steadily shift to paid subscription.”
The report compiling the data on these channels also revealed that most channels that were withdrawn from FreeDish witnessed a decline of 25% in their ratings and impressions came down by 17% with 12% in urban and 26% in rural markets. Media experts have pointed towards a ten-fold increase in the ad-spot on Dangal TV for ten seconds. Previously, FMCG advertisers were using Hindi GEC FTA channels which have now become pay channels, so channels like Dangal TV are filling their shoes.