Regional TV channels ride the growth wave, show surge in ad volume

Tamil and Telugu channels saw the sharpest growth, followed by Marathi.

Mumbai: The month of October registered the highest advertising volumes for the year 2021 on TV, as per Broadcast Audience Research Council (Barc) India. But what also remained significant was the growth story scripted by the regional language channels in South, Marathi, Punjabi and Bhojpuri, with a consistent growth in ad volume, not only over 2020 but also 2019 levels.

In the South cluster, Tamil and Telugu language channels saw the sharpest growth YoY at 17 per cent and 33 per cent, respectively, in terms of ad volumes. According to Barc India, Star Maa became the most viewed Telugu general entertainment channel (GEC) in week 42 (16-22 October) (U+R, 2+, India) and continues to be in the top three channels of India in the last four out of six weeks. Tamil GEC Star Vijay was a leader in the weekday primetime slot in three out of four weeks of October and its shows ranked number one in top fiction and non-fiction programs.

The Marathi language genre saw a 12 per cent increase YoY in ad volumes with Star Pravah recording the highest reach in the Marathi GEC market. In week 46, Star Pravah achieved its highest-ever TV ratings at 479 GRPs (U+R 2+) for Maharashtra/Goa. Nine out of ten shows among the top 10 programs for Marathi GEC are consistently from Star Pravah for weekdays (U+R, 2+) as per data.

Star Maa aired the latest seasons of ‘Bigg Boss Telugu’ and ‘Super Singer’ in October, similarly, Star Vijay aired the latest seasons of ‘Bigg Boss Tami’, ‘Star Music’ and ‘Cook with Comali’ during the month. Star Pravah aired its talent show ‘Me Honar Superstar Jallosh Dancecha’ and announced ‘Me Honar Superstar Chote Ustaad’ which started from 4 December.

Punjabi genre also recorded a 28 per cent growth in ad volumes YoY. PTC Network which operates seven channels in the Punjabi entertainment and news space including PTC Punjabi, PTC News, PTC Chakk De, PTC Punjabi Gold, PTC Simran and PTC Music and accounts for 70 per cent market share in the Punjab market led the ad volume growth in October, according to PTC Network managing director and president Rabindra Narayan.

“The market sentiment was very good this year compared to the previous two years. In fact, many manufacturers and suppliers did not anticipate the demand during Diwali and faced supply shortages. Both local and new clients increased their advertising budgets, however, for us retail clients and local advertisers grew the pie,” said Narayan.

PTC Network also invested in launching fresh unscripted content including the second season of talent show ‘Hunar Punjab Da’ and latest season of singing show ‘Voice of Punjab’ in October. The channel is planning to launch new fiction IPs in January next year.

IN10 Media Network’s Bhojpuri movie channel Filamchi Bhojpuri also saw a nine per cent growth in terms of viewership during the months of September-October, a time when the focus is on major events like Diwali and Chhath Puja to showcase films and devotional content. “Regional channels have seen an upward trend in viewership in the past few years. And the festival season sees a keen interest from both viewers and advertisers,” said Filamchi Bhojpuri vice president – strategy Tarun Talreja.

A range of advertisers visible on Bhojpuri channels include categories like FMCG, retail, lifestyle and e-commerce. “The advertising trends continue to be positive for the genre with a clear focus from brands looking at Bhojpuri speaking markets as a key reach builder spiralled by both increased consumption of Bhojpuri content and wider reach,” noted IN10 Media Network head of revenue Kavita Sagar.

The channel showcased a new world TV premiere every week of the festive month and during Chhath Puja aired devotional songs as well as movies highlighting the festival. On 14 November, Filamchi Bhojpuri streamed the film ‘Dulhan Wahi Jo Piya Man Bhaye’ on its YouTube channel which has garnered over 34 million views as of 30 November. Within 15 days of the film release, its YouTube channel grew by 3.2 lakh subscribers, said the channel.

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