Can Sony be GEC #1?

23 Sep,2011



By Dhara Salla


It could well be time for Multi Screen Media CEO Man Jit Singh and COO N P Singh to get Sony Entertainment Television Channel to reach the numero uno spot. Sony has been giving a consistent performance over the past five weeks by being No 2 with 271 GRPs this week. With this success they plan to be No 1. Says Ms Sneha Rajani, Senior EVP and Business Head, SET, “It’s heartening to see the growth numbers and we are thrilled to see the amazing audience response to Sony.”

SET is ahead of Colors with a difference of 52 GRPs and is coming close to the No 1 slot with a difference of 21 GRPs. SET remains on top in the primetime with 165 GRPs, leading by 27 GRPs over Star Plus which scored 137 GRPs. The four-day week primetime average is 153 GRPs, 17 GRPs better than the next best Colors with 133 GRPs.

According to TAM data, Sony claims their dream run to continue with KBC being the No 1 show on Indian television with an average TRP of 5.4 followed by Bade Achhe Lagte Hain as the slot leader with 3.9 TRPs, Saas Bina Sasuraal averaging at 2.3, CID with 3.1, Crime Patrol at 3.2 and the recently launched Prayaschit averaging at 2.1 GRPs.

Is Sony’s content beyond KBC now fully capable to lead them to the top spot? Mr Danish Khan, Senior Vice President, Marketing, SET, explains, “Our growth is not only because of KBC; it started before that and it is across all categories. KBC has definitely boosted the growth but other shows have also been on a continuous upward performance.” He further adds, “I can see a steady growth of the channel with the current lineup of shows and also adding to it our new show, Kuch Toh Log Kahenge.”

What do industry pundits feel about Sony’s eye on the top spot? MXM finds out.


Ms Anita Nayyar, CEO, MPG South Asia, says, “Yes definitely Sony can be on the number one position but for how long they sustain it is a questions to ask. Star has been there since ages and Colors had taken over but then Star took a great leap ahead of Colors again. Sony has proved that audiences can be won over with the content but for how long, that time will only tell.”

Ms Anamika Mehta, COO, Lodestar UM, is in agreement with Ms Nayyar, “As we have seen in the last couple of years, positions change hands in the GEC war very often and a couple of good shows can play a significant role in the weekly ranks. Yes Sony is gearing towards the No 1 slot on the back of KBC’s mass appeal and a few other soaps that are favoured by the audiences. Among the top 10 programmes in the GEC space it’s a stiff fight amongst Sony, Star Plus, Colors. What’s working in Sony’s favour is KBC, the old favourite CID and Bade Achhe Lagte. And now with another prime time launch of the famous Dhoop Kinare in two weeks, Sony is a strong contender for the top slot. However what will be tough is to sustain the ratings and position once KBC goes off air and other players come up with their quarter lineup like Bigg Boss etc.”

Mr Uday Mohan, Vice President, MPG, also feels that KBC is the winner as far as Sony is concerned: “Sony has adopted a very smart strategy of using KBC as a launch platform to introduce/ promote shows which are contextual and more relevant to urban Indians (shows like Bade Achhe Lagte Hain, Saas Bina Sasural). This seems like the current genre of interest and as long as Sony ensures that their other new shows also have the same level of freshness, they should be able to maintain this momentum.”

After reaching this kind of success, the advertisers’ perspective has definitely changed, Ms Mehta says, “Sony with its programming (eg CID) always enjoyed a certain loyal audience base and therefore advertisers; however with KBC and the success of other soaps it will soon become a part of more media plans.”

Mr Mohan remarks, “With the healthy numbers that Sony is currently showing, it will definitely be in the high-consideration set in the GEC space.”

It certainly seems that Sony has set its sights on the top. The channel certainly seems unstoppable – whether it can sustain the momentum is still to be seen.

File photograph of KBC4 launch by Fotocorp

From l to r: N P Singh, Amitabh Bachchan, Man Jit Singh

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