Media and entertainment network Viacom18 will launch its seventh regional general entertainment channel (GEC) under the Colors brand – COLORS Tamil – in the fourth quarter of this year. The network currently operates GECs in the Kannada, Marathi, Gujarati, Odia and Bangla markets. Last year, the broadcaster, optimistic about the future prospects for regional entertainment, launched a second Kannada GEC – COLORS Super.
The Tamil GEC market is quite crowded with nearly 15 channels currently on the air. Sun TV is the undisputed leader in the category, with a more than four times lead over its closest competitor Star Vijay according to TV audience data from the Broadcast Audiences Research Council of India (BARC).
The competition between numbers two to four is fierce with 42 million impressions separating the number two (Star Vijay) and number four (Zee Tamil) players. It gets even more heated when you see the difference between Star Vijay and KTV number three. The two are separated by just 3,000 impressions. Viacom18 is the third national broadcaster to enter the Tamil market after Star India and Zee.
Sudhanshu Vats, Group CEO, Viacom18, said, “Aggressive regional driving is one of our main strategic thrusts. Given that nearly 60% of our country speaks regional languages and this market is under-indexed on television, it is imperative that this segment continues to grow rapidly in the years to come.
“While Colors Super aimed to deepen our presence in the Kannada genre where Colors Kannada is an undisputed leader, the launch of Colors Tamil is a step towards expanding our reach in regional markets by penetrating the largest regional market in the country. The Tamil content market is highly competitive and well prepared for disruption, making it the opportune time for our entry,” he added.
Viacom18 has a strong library of reality and fiction shows. It has invested in creating original content relevant to specific regions on screen and expanding to the field for each region under the Colors brand. Viacom18’s content and strategy for regions, coupled with BARC that makes rural data reporting more robust, is expected to help grow regional markets. Viacom18 has seen success in the regional space through its content strategy and is the market leader in Kannada, Marathi and Gujarati.
Tamil GEC Rankings for Week 17 (April 22 to April 28, 2017)
Source: BARC India
Data considers urban and rural audiences in Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry region and includes people over 2 years old