The week 13 data released by BARC India yesterday has thrown some interesting results. Free-to-Air (FTA) Hindi GEC Dangal TV has emerged as the No 1 channel on all-India basis across genres, for All India (U+R), 2+ TG.
This is the first time Dangal TV has become the No 1 channel across India with 116.2 crore impressions. Star Sports 1 Hindi is at the second position, primarily driven by the airing of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019. The Hindi sports channel has garnered 109.4 crore impressions in the reported week. Tamil GEC Sun TV, which used to reign supreme, has dropped to the third position with 85 crore impressions. Big Magic is at the fourth position with 67.5 crore impressions followed by Star Plus (66.8 crore), Star Maa (63.5 crore), Zee TV (58.9 crore), Sony Entertainment Television (SET) (53.3 crore), Colors (52 crore), and Zee Tamil (51.5 crore). There could not be bigger news than this for Dangal TV!
Not many may be familiar with Dangal TV. Well, Dangal is a Hindi general entertainment channel owned by Enterr10 Television. Dangal was originally intended to be a Bhojpuri channel only, but it turned into general entertainment channel in Hindi with Sagar Pictures’ Jai Shri Krishna which met with great success. Dangal TV started its journey in the GEC space by broadcasting old shows of other channels like Colors, Imagine TV, Zee TV, Sahara One, and more. But it soon switched to original programming with shows like Crime Alert, Shiv Arjun : Ek Ichchhadhari Ki Kahani, Bahurani, Kahaani Ek Raat Ki etc. Its efforts have obviously paid off.
As per BARC, top shows in Rural this week were Ramayan on Dangal with 10495 million impressions, followed by Mahima Shanidev Ki on Dangal with 10379 million impressions and again Sai Baba on Dangal with 6340 million impressions.
In combined Urban & Rural data, too Dangal ruled the ratings with 1160268 million impressions, followed by Big Magic with 671341 million impressions and Star Plus with 647209 million impressions. In fourth place, was Zee TV with 561253 and Sony TV at No.5 with 520214 million impressions made up the Top 5. Top shows in the combined data were again Ramayan on Dangal with 12874 million impressions, followed by Mahima Shanidev Ki on Dangal with 12753 million impressions. Kumkum Bhagya on ZEE TV broke the Dangal monopoly on the top with 9662 million impressions.
For the record, Star Plus emerged as the No.1 Hindi entertainment channel in Urban. It delivered 439726 million impressions, followed by Sony Entertainment Television with 381808 million impressions and Colors with 342162 million impressions. At No.4, Zee TV registered 331473 million impressions and Sony SAB TV with 298908 million impressions made up the Top 5. Top shows in Urban were Kullfi Kumarr Bajewala on Star TV with 5745 million impressions, followed by Kasautii Zindagii Kay, again on Star TV, with 5700 million impressions and Super Dancer Chapter 3 on Sony TV with 5680 million impressions.
So, what has fuelled the sudden success of Dangal TV? Dangal TV is surely a direct beneficiary of the move by leading broadcasters to pull off their Hindi GEC and movie channels from DD Free Dish platform from 1st March 2019. Broadcasters like Star India, ZEEL, Viacom18, and Sony Pictures Networks India (SPNI) have converted their erstwhile FTA channels to ‘pay’ in the new pricing regime of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). The move has allowed broadcasters to sell all their channels in a bouquet. The TRAI regulations disallow bundling of FTA and pay channels. For now, Dangal TV seems to have gained the most from the churn in the environment, gaining from the loss of connectivity and pick-up for other erstwhile competitors.
Interestingly, in Urban + Rural HSM, Dangal TV built up a substantial lead over national GECs Zee TV, Star Plus, Colors and SET, and formerly FTA channels Star Bharat, Sony Sab, Sony Pal, and DD National. It also led the way with the most watched programs nationally.
While it may be too early for other channels to panic -- BARC India has released the viewership data publicly after a gap of seven weeks due to the direction from the TRAI. The audience measurement had stopped publishing data on its website due to TRAI tariff order implementation which has resulted in large-scale changes in the distribution of TV channels. BARC had argued that the data collected during this ‘churn’ period could be misleading due to the changes on the distribution front -- but Dangal has surely got a lot of advertisers interested. Market sources say advertising rates have climbed 500%! And so have the channel advertising volumes.
Dangal’s reign at the top may not last long. The churn will settle down for sure in the days and weeks to come. But for Dangal, an hour of glory is worth an age without a name! No media person, no client can at least ignore it for now!
(Dr Sandeep Goyal tracks all emerging trends in the advertising and media space.)