TV Impact: Performance of film channels in UK since Sky changes

Raj Baddhan

Senior Editor


While Hindi entertainment channels are facing their toughest time yet in UK ratings, the Bollywood movie genre continues to grow. looks at data of the five Hindi film channels available in the UK and how they have been performing since the market changed in August last year.

Up until August 2017, Star Gold was the only Bollywood film channel available in the Sky pack, while Rishtey Cineplex was available without any subscription. After this period, the market opened up with three other major channels joining the Sky pack, including Sony MAX, ZEE Cinema and B4U Movies. Not only has the industry been closely watching to see the performance of these channels but also official figures would now be able to determine the true positioning of the services. analyses the first six months of the Hindi movie channels in the UK since the Sky changes have taken place.

Star Gold
Star Gold has managed to clearly remain the UK’s No.1 Indian film channel with consistent share each month since August 2017. The channel delivered a share of 0.037% in August, slipping a little to 0.033% in September. However, it peaked to its highest monthly share in October with 0.046% and staying balanced with 0.040% in November. Star Gold then balanced out its share with 0.034% in December and upping it slightly to 0.036% in January 2018.

Sony MAX
Sony MAX has been the biggest Indian film broadcaster since its switch to the Sky pack. Its monthly share stood at 0.051% – mainly down to cricket aired during its first month of the Sky changes. It was able to continue with its good share numbers in September with 0.039% before increasing to a record high share of 0.052% in October – bigger than any other Asian movie channel during the six month in question. Since then, Sony MAX has been consistent with monthly shares of 0.023% in November, 0.028% in December and 0.026% in January 2018.

ZEE Cinema
ZEE Cinema has remained fairly consistent with an average share of 0.020% during the first six months of joining the Sky pack. In August, ZEE Cinema delivered a share of 0.025% but plummeted to a share of 0.011% in September. It rose again to 0.025% in October and increased further to 0.032% in November. It then balanced out its share with 0.026% in December and 0.023% in January 2018.

Rishtey Cineplex
Rishtey Cineplex has had a rocky ride during the first six months of the Sky changes. In August, Rishtey Cineplex’s switch from free-to-air to a subscription service met with a good response. Its share stood at 0.031% in August. However, its share dropped to 0.015% in September, similarly to ZEE Cinema. It increased its share to 0.026% in October, 0.029% in November and then fell again to 0.019% in December. It slipped further to 0.017% in January 2018.

B4U Movies
B4U Movies has been the biggest surprise in the movie genre beating some of its bigger rivals. Despite no big premieres and relying on movies syndicated with other channels, B4U Movies has beaten market expectations. The channel started off slow with a share of 0.012% in August. However, it started showing signs of recovery with 0.015% in September. It increased further to 0.019% in October, then a third increase to 0.020% in November. In December, its share stood at 0.018% before delivering its biggest share in January 2018 with 0.024%.

Talking to , a leading industry executive said, “Its quite clear that viewers are no longer sticking to a particular TV brand. The constant fluctuation in share and reach of TV channels signifies that broadcasters are struggling to retain viewers for a long period of time. There’s too much choice, which means viewers will float to wherever the content is that suits them. Movie viewers are described in the industry as being “disloyal”, who tend to watch their choice of film before switching over or switching off completely. The numbers on BizAsia also display that while Star Gold remains the clear leader in its genre, Sony MAX and B4U Movies are catching up.”

Data provided by BARB/Attentional for