Viacom18 eyes a bumper festive season, with new show ‘The Big Picture’ set for launch

The broadcaster has invested in two marquee properties to capitalise on festive demand.

Mumbai: Viacom18’s portfolio of entertainment channels is targeting double digital growth this festive season. According to Viacom18, head – network sales, Mahesh Shetty, the broadcaster expects to beat 2019 festive revenues with two marquee properties to capitalise on.

2020 was an outlier for the media industry because of the impact that Covid-19 had on the industry. Advertising spends that are closely correlated to the GDP and the business economy was depressed for several quarters. “The way the industry bounced back after the second wave was phenomenal. The last quarter results of most companies have been good and that has had a positive impact on ad spends. As we enter the festive period it is just getting better. Most broadcasters are dealing with a problem of plenty i.e., we’re full up on inventory,” remarked Shetty.

The volume of advertisers is yet to recover to the 2019 levels but the values have significantly increased over the past two years. The recovery of ad rates has been driven by the strong demand that the media industry is seeing during the festive period. This is having a positive impact on pricing, observed Shetty.

The broadcaster has invested in big-ticket properties to take advantage of the traction from advertisers. This year its mainline Hindi general entertainment channel (GEC) Colors will telecast two marquee shows during the festive season namely – ‘Bigg Boss 15’ and ‘The Big Picture'.

“Bigg Boss 15 has signed 18 brands and 75 per cent inventory filled at the time of launch” noted Shetty. “We’ve already signed six brands for ‘The Big Picture’ whose launch is two weeks down the line and are confident that this number will go up.”

Hosted by actor Ranveer Singh, the quiz show is all set to hit the airwaves on 16 October and will be aired on weekends at 8 p.m.



A post shared by ColorsTV (@colorstv)

The network has roped TRESemme, Lotus White Glow, Dabur Red Toothpaste, Knorr,, JK Smart Tyre, Hershey’s Kisses, Garnier Men, Wow Skin Science, Spotify, Moj App, Fogg Deodorant, and Haier Washing Machine for ‘Bigg Boss 15’ on TV and additional five exclusive sponsors on their OTT platform Voot.

For ‘The Big Picture’ the sponsors include BYJU’S, Bikaji, LIC, and Haier Refrigerator on TV and two exclusive sponsors for Voot.

New category advertisers who have become active post-Covid-19 are driving ad volumes and spends, according to Shetty. These advertisers have changed the advertiser mix for entertainment channels and have significantly grown in terms of contribution.

“Looking at a three-year horizon (2019-2021), FMCG which used to contribute 72 per cent to the total ad revenue pie for mainstream entertainment channels, has come down slightly to 70 per cent. Categories like telecom, handsets, apparel have also dropped from about two per cent to one per cent,” said Shetty.

The e-commerce marketplaces which used to be two per cent have grown to four per cent. The contribution of social media apps and OTT platforms which used to be around one to three per cent has jumped to six per cent. “Ed-tech which is a new category that has emerged post-pandemic and now contributes about one per cent to revenues. E-wallets also contribute one per cent. The entire contribution for internet brands which used to be around 12 per cent has now grown to 18 per cent. That’s where the advertising mix has seen a change,” he added.

New categories like e-commerce, fintech, crypto, and ed-tech are investing heavily on TV to change consumer behaviour and drive adoption of their brands. The festive period is the best time to drive preference for their brands when the consumer is usually in a buying mindset and wants to engage with brands.

Apart from GEC, the network's portfolio of movies, music, youth, and regional channels are also performing well, shared Shetty.

The movie genre is seeing advertising traction with inventories filling up. Restrictions on cinema exhibition halls have been relaxed in several states including Maharashtra and producers have announced the release slate for the next six months. “This will also add to the bank of our movie channels,” he added.

Similarly, the broadcaster has made critical investments in its regional portfolio of channels that will drive growth during the festive period. Apart from Kannada, Tamil, and Bangla channels, the kid’s genre has been going steady and youth and music channels under MTV brand have attracted interest by offering bespoke solutions to advertisers.

The broadcaster is also poised to ride the enthusiasm for fresh sports content with its upcoming Abu Dhabi T10 that will telecast on its movie channel COLORS Cineplex towards the third week of November.

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