Case study of ETV
BACKGROUND AND OVERVIEW
Every region in India is diverse and distinct in language, culture, traditions, and lifestyle. A
belief and reverence towards one‘s culture and language have formed the genesis of many a
business driving the organizations to come up with products and services that satiate these
emotional aspects. When it is related to media — disseminating information, entertainment, and
knowledge and representing the larger society — the association becomes imperative in today‘s
This genesis thoroughly drove ETV Network to be what it is today. It was a journey that began
in 1995 with the maiden Telugu infotainment channel, which crossed most decisive milestones to
become one of the largest satellite channel networks in India. ETV‘s foundation was laid on the
pillar of philosophy that the linguistic treasure, cultural ethos, and geographical affinity of
several Indian states are diverse and need a representation in their own style.
When the satellite TV revolution broke out in India during the late 1990s, the Telugu daily
newspaper Eenadu started with its own channel called ETV. Initially launching a Telugu
channel the network has later diversified into other Indian languages such
as Bengali, Urdu, Kannada, Gujarati, Oriya and Marathi. With 12 channels in regional
languages of India, ETV has the largest news-reporting network in India, at the grassroots level.
Managed by Newstoday Private Limited, the channels give news in between entertainment
Aug 1995: ETV Network was launched.
Aug 15, 2001: ETV Network started ETV Urdu, India's first Urdu language TV channel.
Oct 11, 2001: ETV delivers WWFE's entire portfolio of programming across India, Bangladesh,
Sri Lanka, Nepal and the Maldives for the next three years.
Apr 30, 2003: Viewership of ETV Telugu increased to 31.9 million (up 10 per cent); ETV
Kannada increased to 6.8 million; ETV Marathi increased to 5.2 million; ETV Bengali increased
to 5 million (up 41 per cent); ETV Gujarati increased to 0.7 million and ETV Punjabi increased
to 0.1 million.
Nov 1, 2005: In one of the Marathi Channels (ETV) in a show called ' Samvad', Pt. Raj Kumar
Sharma predicted that Sharad Pawar would become the Chairman of BCCI (Board of Control for
Cricket in India).
GROWTH AND EVOLUTION
When ETV was launched in August 1995, there was a great anticipation among Telegu speaking
audiences who were already familiar with the parent company‘s powerful influence in Telegu
media, thanks largely to the newspaper by the same name. Leasing a high quality transponder on
the INTELSAT satellite system and uplinked from Padukka near Colombo, Sri Lanka, Eenadu
began television transmission with an ambitious 17 ½ hour service of entertainment and film
based programming. Elated by the audience‘s response to Telegu fare in Andhra Pradesh,
Eenadu expanded its network into other Indian states and offered viewers across the country
programming in the regional language of their choice. Analysts felt that an important
characteristic of the Ramoji Group was that it had always been a family-run organization.
ETV's strong infrastructure foundation is based on a dedicated Earth Station, the first to be
commissioned in India by a private media organization. This technological capability,
augmented by the network's India-wide VSAT facility, enables ETV to rapidly disseminate news
and other events. The network leverages its infrastructure to telecast events live. ETV has
invested in 350 Intel-based high performance computers to provide its growing IT infrastructure
with the latest technology.
Yupptv is now providing 6 ETV channels live online, namely, ETV Telugu, ETV2, ETV
Kannada, ETV Gujarati, ETV Marathi and ETV Oriya. ETV added "ETV Urdu" to their kitty of
regional channels on 15 August 2001 (Independence Day. ETV has upgraded to an MPEG-4
network, to maximize available capacity, helping it to reduce operating costs. Genesis Networks
and ETV contracted for a fully managed video transmission solution from ETV‘s studios in
Hyderabad, India to the DirecTV facility in Los Angeles, California.
ECONOMICS OF ETV
ETV during last four years has been operating at an average of 6 hrs of programming across its
GEC channels and cost of programming is relatively flat, approximately 35% of core revenues.
Economics of ETV:
a) Programme head selects the time and content of any programme that is telecast.
b) The marketing department is told about its time period, depending on the popularity of
c) The popularity of the programme is derived from the TRP rate.
d) On that basis the marketing and advertising department find and finalize the
Viewership as per TRP:
TRP – Target Rating Point. One of the most valuable and life line word to TV Channels in India.
To get ad revenue and audience plus rate TV Channels will watch TRP ratings every week. ETV
accounts for 35% of India‘s cable TV viewership and has a TRP of 92.
Overview of Market share:
ETV 2 has 36.4% share while in the case of entertainment ETV has 18.3% of share in the
ETV contributes 36% to company revenues, generating 75% from advertising and 25% from
subscriptions; this is against industry average of 34% from advertising and 66% from
subscriptions. Its advertising revenue in 2008-09 was Rs. 341.3 crores. Its subscription revenue
was Rs. 118.3 crores while its advertisement subscription was 78:22
MARKETING AND PUBLICITY
Some of the marketing strategies used were as follows:
a) ETV started a programme on the Panchatrantra tales on Sundays at 10:30 AM through
puppetry. By uniting two of India's most valued cultural treasures - Panchatantra and
puppetry - ETV Network tries to "remind the world about India's glorious artistic
heritage", says a prepared note released by the company.
b) Cell18 and ETV Marathi collaborated to create a new Marathi reality show – ―DNA.‖
The new show tests a contestant‘s skills on matching pairs of parents with their children
on the basis of their looks, smile, body structure, etc. A contestant has to try to match
eight pairs of parents with their children to win prize money of Rs. 5 lakhs. In the first
week itself this show received an average TRP of 2.7 in the new prime slot on ETV
c) TOONZ Animation India has entered into an agreement with ETV Network for telecast of The
Adventures of Tenali Raman, the first in-house production from Toonz. Produced using classic
2D animation, The Adventures of Tenali Raman is the first animated television series of its kind
in the country.
d) BIG Live recently concluded the pioneering an first ever Music Awards for Bengal titled
the ‗Idea BIG Bangla Music Awards 2010‘ (―IBBMA). The latest television ratings saw
IBBMA skyrocket ETV Bangla‘s ratings in Kolkata delivering a TVR of 1.1, higher than
any Hindi or regional general entertainment channel in the telecast slot of 8-10pm.
e) To generate more revenues for the beleaguered business, India Post (Gujarat Circle) has
tied up with ETV Gujarati for airing personalized greeting. Viewers can send greetings
from household through postal department staff or use the wide network of post office to
wish their personalized greeting with the photographs of the wisher and the receiver. The
greetings will be displayed in at an airtime and date desired by the wisher. The cost of
each message is Rs 500 for a 10 sec airtime. . ETV is also in talks with India Post in
three-four states for similar tie up.
CHALLENGES AND CRISIS
a) According to sources, Ramoji wanted the ETV establishment to be shifted to Ramoji
Film City from the present premises in Rajbhavan Road and his son, Suman is said to
be against such a move. Again there are reports about more business transactions
being undertaken by Prabhakar without even the knowledge of Ramoji Rao. There
were unconfirmed reports about large scale embezzlement of ETV funds.
b) In May 2010, the government told 43 channels including ETV to express regret and
carry warnings for having aired surrogate advertisements of liquor and tobacco
products in violation of rules. It said "objectionable" advertisements of
undergarments, which were "indecent, vulgar and suggestive, continued to be telecast
by the channels.
c) When Eenadu launched ETV2, its 24-hour news channel, in a bid to stay in front of
the competition it was followed on January 15 by the launch of another news channel
TV9, backed by entrepreneur and venture capitalist Srini Raju. The battle was so
intense that two other channels, Maa TV and Vissa TV, poached ETV's newsreaders
The company has also converted all its channels from free to air to subscription mode and
expects an increase in share of subscription revenues thus reducing volatility in earnings, caused
by higher proportion of advertising revenues. Company has 12 channels under its umbrella, in 8
languages. It is ranked 1st or 2nd across regional mainstream channels in 4 of 6 markets it
operates in. But company‘s Hindi channels and Urdu Channel have not achieved breakeven till
now. Except ETV Telugu (launched in 1995) all other channels are launched 7-8 years back but
have become market leading channels today.