Another English television entertainment brand that completed two decades this year is Zee Cafe and the grapevine is that this year’s 20th anniversary milestone was a big reason for pushing the channel to continue its operations.
The pioneer in the category, Star Nation, has also lost a lot (read audiences and advertisers), other than those two channel labels. Relatively newer players like Viacom18’s Colors Infinity and Comedy Central don’t do anything else. The genre as a whole has faced challenges from OTT players.
The genre has already been written off by many experts, blaming it on the OTT boom and the New Tariff Order implemented in February 2019.
While the English GECs were confident that they would neutralize the impact of the OTT platforms attack. Last year’s NTO from TRAI left no breathing air.
English Television reports
The TRAI order is a perfect example of how to kill an industry in India. Being forced to pack up in the name of “protecting the interests of consumers” and “orderly growth of the broadcast industry.”
An industry report indicates that the format has lost more than 60 percent of its audiences. And also 90 percent of listeners. It’s leading to a decrease in advertisement sales by more than 75 per cent.
The ad rates dropped from Rs 500-2000 to Rs 300-1000 per 10 seconds. After NTO was up by more than 50 per cent. The broadcasters initially seemed hopeful with the subscription revenue coming in. But audiences eventually rectified their decisions and subscription began to decline.
The number of subscribers has slipped to just as low as 10,000 in a bad week for a few channels. Income from advertising has dropped from Rs 20-100 crore to Rs 5-30 crore.
Covid-19 has turned out to be the final nail in the coffin with the steadily decreasing ad revenues. As the overall advertising revenues across genres fell between January and April 2020.
A research by BARC Nielsen reported that in this time the general entertainment channels (Hindi) experienced a 26 per cent decrease in advertising. The English type of entertainment should get at least three times, if not more.