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Help Second tier GECs enjoy 1.3 times higher market share on DTH as compared to analog: aM
While the second league channels in the Hindi general entertainment space is yet to get their due as compared to the players in the top three bracket, they are surely experiencing a growth in viewership across digital homes.

A recent study conducted by aMap reveals that the Hindi GEC League 2 channels such as SAB, Imagine TV, STAR One and 9X enjoy 1.3 times higher market share on DTH as compared to analog. This is mainly attributed to the fact that on DTH, unlike analog, League 2 channels are part of the base/entry level DTH packages giving them similar availability strength as the league one channels.

Additionally, better availability on entry level DTH packages with higher content strength helps reduce the gap with League 1 channels on DTH. Interestingly, League 1 channels like Colors, Star Plus and Zee TV are only 20 per cent higher than League 2 on DTH whilst on analog, the difference is that of 45 per cent.

Meanwhile, a similar study on the English movie genre reveals parallel facts. According to aMap, the second league channels in the space such as Sony Pix, Zee Studio and World Movies enjoy higher growth on DTH as compared to League 1 channels that comprise STAR Movies, HBO and WB.

League 1 channels, in turn, enjoy better connectivity on analog with the distribution push, while DTH platform is an equaliser with both League 1 and League 2 channels being available on premium packs (Rs 180 per month and more). Secondly, stronger alignments with major studios provide a consistent stream of blockbuster movies leading to popular appeal for League 1 channels adding to their strength on analog with heterogeneity in audiences.

League 2 channels, therefore, tend to have content that appeals to more specific taste audiences, with DTH being the better platform to tap such viewers, given the improved broadcast quality for every channel and targeting of upscale viewers with premium packs.

Unlike regional content viewers who are at the mercy of cable operators, especially when living outside the regional geography or dominant language group, DTH transfers the choice of content in the hand of viewers exercised with the DTH pack.

Thereby, and rightly so, Bengali regional channels have witnessed a growth of 114 per cent pan India and 94 per cent in the Eastern market on DTH as compared to analog. As seen in viewership numbers, Bengali speaking audiences living outside the East market are the real drivers for the growth of Bangla channels on DTH.

Backed by its ability to offer digital signal clarity, DTH continues to play a pivotal role in the growth of the television industry. The total number of DTH households is estimated to be around 20 million in the first half of 2010, up from around 14 million in 2009 and 9 million in 2008. This enormous growth will help League 2 or niche channels will definitely gain traction, states aMap.


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