It is that time of year when all channels on your idiot box are showing film award functions. And they are in abundance – Filmfare, Screen Awards, Zee Cine Awards, IIFA Awards, Stardust and the list goes on.
You could wonder what makes these shows so lucrative that all Hindi general entertainment channels (GECs) air them. The answer is good TRPs (television rating points), which translate into good ad revenue. Also, these are cheaper than a movie and the return is higher.
For instance, BIG STAR Entertainment Awards on STAR Plus last year clocked a whopping 5.9 TVR, adding 42 GRPs (gross rating points) to STAR Plus' kitty. On Colors, the 18th edition of Screen Awards had notched a 5.5 TVR and 40 GRPS. Filmfare on Sony Entertainment Television and Zee Cine Awards on Sony, too, have rated over 4.4 TVR.
“These awards are definitely revenue generators for the TV channels, as they are well-packed in terms of sponsors. It’s quite an interesting and important genre for these channels. Though many times the awards are pure content for these channels and the IP is owned by the producer, the interesting part is that all awards get good ratings. They have loyal viewership and they give spike to the ratings,” said P M Balakrishnan, chief operating officer at Allied Media.
According to industry estimates, a good award show that costs anywhere between Rs 10-12 crore in today's times, can earn Rs 15-25 crore from on-air and on-ground sponsorships.
“These awards have good revenue potential and are very profitable. We have been associated with Filmfare and Stardust since very long for Sony and MAX and they are two of the most prestigious award shows. We get close to 12 sponsors for Filmfare every year,” said Rohit Gupta, president-network sales at Multi Screen Media.
The awards are not just about films. A Majority of channels also have TV awards, like Colors Golden Petal, STAR Parivaar, Zee Rishtey, Gold Awards, Indian Television Academy Awards and New Talent Awards.
“The awards shows cost much less than acquiring films, which now cost a bomb. A film never recovers acquisition cost on first airing, but these awards make handsome profits on first airing itself. Then, we also have the option of re-runs and using it online. These also act as good marketing vehicles not just for the channel and shows, but also for many films and brands,” a top executive of a Hindi general entertainment channel said.
However, the awards still not command any significant ratio of the total advertising pie of a GEC. “GECs get Rs 4,000-5,000 crore in advertising revenues in a year, while these awards are just close to Rs 100 crore all put together. But the fact that you have a big award show in your calendar, makes it important for a media buyer to ink yearly deals,” a media buyer said.