New channel 9X opens to a mixed response


INX Media’s new Hindi general entertainment channel 9X, which launched earlier this month has opened up to a bag of mixed numbers.

Data for its launch week shows that the channel already has a 20 per cent reach, but in terms of channel share, it has opened lower compared to the likes of SAB and STAR Utsav. TAM Media Research data shows that for the C&S 4+ in the Hindi speaking markets, both in the all day data for the entire week, and the for weekdays primetime data, the channel has got better numbers only to the UTV owned Bindass.

At an all day level for the entire week, 9X has a share of 0.63. In comparison, STAR Utsav is 0.86, SAB is 0.9, STAR One is 1.64, Sahara One is 2, Sony is 2.8, ZEE TV is 7.93 and STAR Plus is 10.09. The recently launched youth channel Bindass has a share of 0.49. If only the weekday primetime is seen, 9X has a share of 0.48, while STAR Utsav has 0.56, SAB has 0.88, Sony is 1.81, STAR One is 1.95, Sahara One is 2.42, ZEE TV is 13.57 and STAR Plus is 15.77.

INX Media officials are “delighted” with the numbers and are touting it to be the ���best opening numbers for a C&S channel in the history of Indian television�۝. Indrani Mukerjea, CEO, INX Media, said, “Things are going as per our plans ��� from the day we started, the reach numbers have gone up each day ��� right from November 12 to the close of the week, and will continue to do so.”

Karthik Laxminarayan, COO, Madison Media Infinity, voices the section of the industry that is happy with these numbers. He said, “They are very close to the second tier numbers in the first week itself and hence, these are very promising numbers. They have created enough buzz for people to tune in to the channel, and from here it is really up to the content of the channel.”

Prasanth Kumar, National Director, CTG, GroupM, on the other hand, is of the opinion that these are not encouraging numbers. He said, “9X is one of the channels that had launched with a high decibel impact plan. The programming line also had a good cast. However, the numbers haven�۪t given it an impact-at-launch. It shows that the channel certainly didn�۪t come as a surprise to viewers or clients and agencies.”

At a programme level, of the three shows in the primetime slot of 9X ��� ‘Kahe Na Kahe’, ‘Jiya Jale’ and ‘Mere Apne’ ��� ‘Mere Apne’ has delivered the highest with an average rating of 0.2. Siddharth Basu�۪s first shot at fiction ��� ‘Jiya Jale’ ��� has had an average rating of 0.14, while Ekta Kapoor�۪s ‘Kahe na Kahe’ is at an average rating of 0.11. The channel�۪s comedy band that has a different show on each day of the week at 22:30 has ratings varying from 0.09 to 0.15.

Mukerjea is clear that the channel is not in any hurry to make any changes based on just a week�۪s data. She said, “We are confident that each of our shows is a unique property, and we don�۪t have knee jerk reactions to such early numbers.”

9X’s sister channel 9XM continues its run as market leader in the music sector after only three weeks on air. 9XM is also planning a UK launch next year.

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