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GECs gear up for big festive season, expect ad revenue boost

Flagship programmes, such as Kaun Banega Crorepati, are already on air.
Flagship programmes, such as Kaun Banega Crorepati, are already on air.

Summary

GECs are launching new shows for the festive season, expecting an increase in ad revenues of 12-14% compared to last year. Advertisers in FMCG, automotive, and e-commerce sectors are expected to increase spending.

New Delhi: General entertainment channels (GECs) are preparing for a busy festive season with several new launches, and expect advertising revenues to increase.

The Sony network is set to introduce a new season of Indian Idol, besides a non-fiction programme in December, while Viacom18 plans to bring back Bigg Boss in Hindi and Kannada. Disney will feature new seasons of Bigg Boss in Telugu and Tamil, and is also working on a few fiction shows.

Advertisers in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), automotive and e-commerce sectors are expected to significantly increase their spending during the festive season, with an estimated growth of 12-14% over last year.

Notably, some flagship programmes such as Kaun Banega Crorepati, Sa Re Ga Ma Pa and Khatron Ki Khiladi are already on the air, and once shows such as The Kapil Sharma Show and MasterChef India commence, they are expected to generate even more excitement.

“This year’s sentiments are more positive compared to last year, when in the aftermath of the pandemic advertising revenues were severely impacted. Sustained digitization along with falling inflation rates and positive consumer outlook are expected to drive growth during the festivities. Local as well as national brands across sectors are looking to launch new products and increase their ad budgets, to set the stage for a promising festive season," said Mahesh Shetty, head, network sales, Viacom18.

In anticipation of a promising season, broadcasters are launching new shows and are expecting a significant increase in advertising volume, he said.

Other than the latest season of Bigg Boss, Viacom18 will be launching two fiction shows, Chand Jalne Laga and Doree, on Colors. The new seasons of regional shows like Bigg Boss Kannada and Sur Nava Dhyas Nava in Marathi, and launches like Rangai Jana Rang Maa in Gujarati are also slated.

Ashish Bhasin, founder, The Bhasin Consulting Group, said the festive season should be a good one for advertisers and broadcasters as long as the monsoon goes well, especially in rural areas. While a 12-14% increase over last year’s spends is expected, upcoming cricket tournaments also bode well for television. “Overall, about 40,000 crore is generally spent over the festive season and the period takes up 40-45% of annual advertising," Bhasin said. Categories like FMCG, auto, e-commerce, real estate, educational institutions and entertainment entities usually lead advertising.

Amrutha Nair, head of ad sales and strategy for entertainment network channels at Disney Star, said with the festivities drawing near and improving macroeconomic outlook, demand is expected to increase significantly. “This anticipated surge in demand and heightened client engagement are set to propel a notable increase in TV advertising expenditure."

The network’s flagship channel, Star Plus, is set to bring back the Star Parivaar Awards, felicitating characters in its popular shows, for the first time in five years in October. “Brands will find fruitful associations with the Star Parivaar Awards, both on traditional TV and in digital," she added. Besides, the festive season will feature the launch of shows like Bigg Boss Telugu and Tamil with the former already bagging 19 sponsors. The World TV premiere of Rajinikanth-starrer Jailer is also scheduled on Star Gold.

Despite the rise in digital media spends, large advertisers in India will possibly continue to go all out on TV during the festive season with a range of discounts and contextual storylines, according to media industry experts. “Sentiments are better now with India’s recent achievements in space exploration and the pandemic memories almost fading out. While some broadcasters are still trying their best to get advertisers out of the covid-19 discount mindset, others seem confident of striking great deals with their rich content offerings," said Jake Joss, partner, client leadership, dentsu X India.

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