Monday, August 29, 2005

Brand dilution hits Talpa

Talpa was launched some two weeks ago in the overcrowded Dutch TV market, and the viewer statistics are modestly positive. Especially so since Talpa isn't at full steam yet. Also, considering the fact that the Dutch TV market is dominated by three powerful parties (3 stations each for public tv, RTL and SBS), makes the first numbers for Talpa only slightly disappointing.

One aspect however is interesting from a marketing point of view. Talpa experiments with a new show that mixes news, sports and entertainment (hence the name NSE). Beau van Ervan Dorens, who built a reputation as the anchorman for the RTL entertainment show 'Boulevard', hosts this daily program. Viewer numbers have been far from spectacular, and deteriorating by the day. Beau's previous employment lost viewers, but still holds very well.

So what is there to conclude?
  • The Dutch market doesn't seem to be ready for this kind of show. The NSE combination seems to have been borrowed from the American TV market, which is not surprising considering John de Mol's knowledge of that market. However, in the Netherlands, if you want to see a news program, nothings beats the public networks. For entertainment, it is the 'Boulevard' show. And the sports market has enough to offer an each of the three providers.
  • Beau is suffering from 'brand dilution'. He did very well at the focused 'Boulevard' show, but his brand value doesn't seem to cary over very well beyond this type of program.
  • In a more general sense, Talpa could very well contemplate an offer for the Dutch activities of SBS, which itself is being bought by KKR and Permira.

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