Ramadan and TV time
Celebrants are expected to consume even more TV than usual this Ramadan due to August timing. Adrian Murphy reports
August 1, 2011 12:14 by Eva Fernandes
satellite channels across the Middle East.
“As TV accounts for 62 per cent of the total annual measured spend in the region, the spending on TV during Ramadan shoots up by more than double, compared to the average month, and it impacts directly on total ad revenue in the region,” he says.
Many media owners publish exclusive Ramadan rate cards that are significantly higher than an average month and advertisers make a beeline for prime spots for the favourite programmes.
“Some of the top programmes during Ramadan command nearly $50 million spend and around $70 million was spent on the top most advertised programme Sheekh Al Arab Al Hamam last Ramadan,” says Umar.
Parc’s research shows this is reflected by telecos that spend a quarter of their total budget during Ramadan, much higher than 17 per cent share it enjoys for the full year. In 2010, the top spender Zain increased its spending by four times compared to a normal month.
The food sector is the second top spending category during Ramadan compared to its usual fourth rank in a full year, allotting approximately 140 per cent more budget say PARC.
“This year the positive indicators backed by strong fundamentals far outweigh the challenges and I would not be surprised to see a 40 per cent plus surge in spending this Ramadan as compared to last Ramadan,” adds Umar.
Watching TV is such a popular activity during Ramadan that Rizk Haddad regional executive director of Rotana Media Group says the increased prices are justified as the programming commands optimum exposure.
“The price factor is related mainly to demand created in relation to a major increase of media consumption in TV usage and ratings, therefore these prices are justified, especially for products and brands that count on this period for sales growth and increase,” he says.
“Competition in terms of offerings and choices will always be a cause of price wars and special deals; however, the media group will be offering exclusive content, which will always attract the right partners aiming to reach its core target.
“Ramadan is a standalone month in terms of planning, buying and special created TV content, on a TV grid that is launched only for 30 days.
“This puts broadcasters under pressure, media sales as well, to monetise this content in a short period.”
Local cooking shows produced exclusively for Ramadan revolving around iftar preparations are extremely popular. Rotana, for example, will be showing its well-known Soufra Dayme cooking show that focuses on health and nutrition as well as the art of table design.
This is the time when broadcasters enjoy their best ratings of the year and media planners say this in no different even if Ramadan falls in August or July.
“The timing of Ramadan will not affect viewership level negatively either,” says Elda Choucair, general manager of OMG-owned PHD.
“Travel plans will shift, while traditions will not. The hot weather in August will entice more people to stay indoors and therefore may boost TV viewing figures.
“This is a time to show the best they can offer, in order to maintain or strengthen their market position and it is a critical month in terms of revenue as they usually achieve 15 to 20 per cent of their annual revenue in that month.”
Al Islami Foods, which achieves on average 12 per cent of the entire year’s