Star Plus records new viewership peak with six-day fiction strategy

Star Plus records new viewership peak with six-day fiction strategy Posted on: 14/02/2014 09:01 AM   TelevisionPost 

MUMBAI: Star Plus’ strategy of making its entire fiction line-up a six-day affair has worked wonders for the leader of the Hindi general entertainment genre. In the week ended 8 February, the flagship channel from Star India broke all records—and created its own—by clocking the highest weekly viewership in the history of Indian television space, across genres. In the first week itself when Star Plus experimented by offering 11 of its weekday shows (6 pm–11.30 pm) on Saturday, the channel added a whopping 101.66 million GVTs (gross television viewership in thousands). To put it in perspective, Star Plus’ gain was 2.8 times of what Sahara One got in the whole week. The 11 shows on Saturday, 8 February got the channel 68.66 million GVTs, which, again, was about twice as much as what Sahara One got in the entire week. Incidentally, it’s not just incremental TVTs (television viewership in thousands) that the channel got by putting the shows on one extra day. Star Plus led every single slot in the primetime band, except for the 8 pm, which was ruled by Zee TV’s flagship period drama ‘Jodha Akbar’. “We have hit the crescendo here of what we planned for many months. Yes, we have the got the highest ever ratings for any channel, but it is on the back of stronger stories and characters that we have been building slowly and gradually for over six months,” Star Plus GM Gaurav Banerjee told Apart from the 8-pm show ‘Meri Bhabhi’, which clocked peak TVTs of 5,380, all the shows were slot leaders in the respective time slots starting 6 pm, viz. ‘Is Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon’ (2,938 TVTs), ‘Ek Ghar Banaunga’ (3,961 TVTs), ‘Saathiya Saath Nibhana’ (10,965 TVTs), ‘Saraswatichandra’ (7,147 TVTs), ‘Mahabharata’ (8,971 TVTs), ‘Diya Aur Baati Hum’ (13,851 TVTs), ‘Yeh Rishta’ (8,831 TVTs), ‘Pyaar Ka Dard’ (8,341 TVTs), ‘Veera’ (6,613 TVTs) and ‘Yeh Hai Mohabbatein’ (5,147 TVTs). “What we have asked our viewers was a big change in their habit. And most of our viewers have supported us. I am not looking too much into the extension of programming, but in the fact that our storytelling has improved. We first built and strengthened our programming, and then extended it,” Banerjee added. And for all its worth, the move has paid off well. At least, for now, industry observers feel that if the channel manages to maintain the quality, which is a big challenge, it will be able to give a serious run to the competitors’ money. Banerjee is also well aware of the challenge. He said, “It is a task to create the same programming for six days. But the way our creative teams and our partners [production houses] have been working for the past few months is exemplary. Our effort is to not let our talent get worn out.” The impact of Star Plus’ strategy was clearly visible on its competition also. Apart from Zee TV, which gained on the back of ‘Jodha Akbar’ (which was also the week’s most watched show), all other GECs lost eyeballs during the week. All other top-rated shows of the competitors—‘Tarak Mehta…’ (SAB), ‘Comedy Nights with Kapil’, ‘India’s Got Talent’ (Colors), ‘Qubool Hai’ and ‘Sapne Suhane Ladakpan Ke’ (Zee TV)—saw a fall in ratings. Meanwhile, for Star Plus, the telecast of Star Guild Awards also fetched TVTs of 8,063 or 26.80 GRPs (gross rating points). During the week, Star Plus’ share grew by 16.2 per cent to 28.3 per cent of the Hindi GEC genre (non-FTA channels). At No. 2, Zee TV added 27.66 million GVTs or 5.9 per cent to its previous week’s tally. As mentioned above, its top-rated property ‘Jodha Akbar’ was the most-watched show on Indian television during the week. Many of its fiction properties, including ‘Sapne Suhane’, ‘Qubool Hai’ and ‘Pavitra Rishta’, ‘Do Dil Bandhe Ek Dori Se’ and ‘Aur Pyaar Ho Gaya’ fetched over 5,000 TVTs for the channel. Colors, the flagship channel from the Viacom18 group, continued to drop and remained at the third spot. It lost 22.15 million GVTs or five per cent from the previous week. Though Colors’ top-rated show ‘Comedy Nights with Kapil’ remained in the top 10 shows, it did see a fall in viewership. ‘India’s Got Talent 5’, which started the semi-final rounds, saw the biggest drop during the week, possibly due to increased competition on Saturday. For Colors, ‘Balika Vadhu’, ‘Sasural Simar Ka’ and ‘Madhubala’ clocked over 5,000 TVTs. Life OK, while remaining at the fourth spot, lost 42.78 million GVTs, or 11 per cent compared to the trailing week. Sister channel Star Plus’ stratagem also affected Life OK as its top-rated shows ‘Shapath’ and ‘The Adventures of Hatim’ saw a drop in viewership. For SAB, the dependency on its tent-pole property ‘Tarak Mehta…’ is a concern. With ‘Tarak Mehta…’ losing eyeballs, the channel shed 27.16 million GVTs or 8.5 per cent share. It was a mighty drop for Multi Screen Media’s flagship channel Sony Entertainment Television (SET), which saw the passing of 46.41 million GVTs. Though in the previous week, the channel had gained on the strength of the Filmfare Awards, it returned to its usual ratings in the current week. Apparently unaffected by the rise and fall of the major GECs, Sahara One continued to reign at the bottom.

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