New Delhi: Media and entertainment company Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd aims to capture more than 80% of the prime-time TV audience in the Telugu market as the entire southern territory emerges as its fastest growing cluster in within the television business, the company’s senior executive said. The company, which decided to tell more positive, women-centric stories post-Covid, operates 14 channels in the Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam regions and currently has a 17% market share in the South.
“Southern markets like their content, be it movies or TV. The average time spent per user is highest in the South and our effort, since our entry 18 years ago, has been to understand where the viewer is moving and match that with our content,” said Siju Prabhakaran, Chief Cluster Officer – Zee South, As digital infrastructure improves and the region continues to see high mobile phone and internet penetration, television will remain the first place for entertainment, the company believes.
He added that Zee-Sony merged entity (merger deadline is December 21) could have 6-7 top 10 shows in Telugu market besides 80% plus prime time ratings which should be good news for advertisers. FMCG companies are particularly interested in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana market.
In addition, the retail, e-commerce and banking categories are emerging in the south, which also has the unique advantage of several local brands. “Television delivers reach at the right price and is here to stay. Business may not grow as it did 10-15 years ago, but the pace will remain steady,” he said.
Of course, specific topics are emerging in the South Indian TV market, said Anuradha Gudur, Chief Content Officer, Zee Telugu and Zee Keralam. In the Telugu market, for example, more men have entered TV viewing post-Covid and there is generally a demand for positive stories and stronger female characters. Zee Telugu’s primetime viewership has grown 38% in the year to October 2023.
Two shows – Trinayani, about a woman who can predict the future, and Prema Entha Madhuram, which revolves around the love story of a middle-aged businessman and a young woman – have scored 10+ TV rating points.
Zee Telugu, which ranks second in the market, has a 33% share, while Zee Tamil registers a 20% market share, despite the presence of legacy players like Sun TV. Zee Keralam launched in 2018 reached the second position while Zee Kannada ranks first in the market.
Prabhakaran also pointed out the benefits of cross-pollination enjoyed by a network like Zee. For example, Trinayani, a supernatural fantasy TV series on Zee Telugu, is adapted from the Bengali language TV series of the same name that aired on Zee Bangla.
The growth of digital media is also good news for networks like Zee, which have benefited from streaming catch-up TV content online.
“Digital gives viewers convenience and is growing. The phenomenon of the second set-top box has been replaced by OTT and we are seeing a lot of connected TV consumption,” Prabhakaran said, adding that while the company has exported web originals in Tamil and Telugu, it is early days for a southern OTT market that is waiting to explode in the coming years. years.
Sony Pictures Networks India Zee Entertainment Enterprises (ZEEL) is facing hurdles in finalizing its proposed merger due to an impasse over governing agreements for the $10 billion merged entity, reports said.
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