Star Jalsa, the Bengali general entertainment channel (GEC) from Star India, is planning to increase its hours of original programming besides creating other revenue earning options through merchandising and online marketing, in order to stay ahead of competition.
The move comes after Star Jalsa, the youngest Bengali GEC, emerged numero uno channel in West Bengal in just seven months since launch.
According to TAM ratings for week April 26 - May 2, Star Jalsa had 316 gross rating points (GRPs), an increase of 37 GRPs to lead Bengali GEC space for the third week in a row (279 in the previous week).
For the week ended on April 18, 2009, Star Jalsa garnered 361 GRPs, and had a 44 per cent lead over its closest competitor Zee Bangla which was at 251 GRPs, (went down from 397 GRPs the previous week) and ETV Bangla at 274 GRPs. Star Jalsa had also seen a 32 per cent growth (87 GRPs) over the previous eight week average of the channel. The growth in Star Jalsa is also backed by high delivery in the prime time band (Mon-Fri 18:30-22:30) with 114 GRPs (109 GRPs the previous week) replacing Zee Bangla which was in second position at 106 GRPs in the West Bengal market.
According to J C Giri, executive vice president, Star Entertainment Media, “Keeping content relevant and creating original programming that catered to all age groups, helped us stay ahead of competition. Also, we built on the concept of story-telling and provided positive content, instead of showing only sadness, violence or trauma-struck relationships.”
“We are now looking at increasing our hours of original content. Currently, we provide around 21 hours of original programming per week. Also, Star Jalsa currently is the market leader in the 7.30 prime time band. We are looking at launching close to three shows over the next two months to establish ourselves in the 9.30 prime time band as well,” Giri informed.
The company is also planning to introduce merchandise like apparel, jewellery for some of its popular shows.
The popular shows would also be packed in CDs and DVDs and retailed.
Star already has its merchandise line for some of the popular shows on Star Plus, like its Star Parivar range.
According to TAM data, seven out of top 10 and 36 out of top 100 programmes in West Bengal are from Star Jalsa. ‘Bou Kotha Kou’ is the number one fiction show in Bengali GEC with 7.0 average TVR.
Earlier in February 2009, Star Jalsa became the numero uno channel in West Bengal in CS 15-24 MF target group. Star Jalsa currently offers daily soaps, reality shows, celebrity chat shows and telefilms.
Star Jalsa went on air in September 2008. This was part of Star India's plan to invest $100 million to launch as many as six regional channels in India.
According to Adex India, a Television Audience Measurement (TAM) media research division, in 2008 out of the total advertising revenue on television, regional channels contributed 41 per cent compared with 51 per cent by the national channels.
The total regional advertising market, including print and television, stood at Rs 2046.2 crore in 2007-08. Of the total advertising market in India, the national versus regional ratio was 81:19 per cent, clearly skewed in favour of national advertising.