Hindi GECs seem to be losing out on a considerable amount of audience due to Indian Premier League Season 3. Last year, the Hindi GECs had seen a decline of around 10-15 per cent of their total viewership, media planners predict that the same percentage of viewership decline in GECs during the third season of IPL as well. IPL3 started on March 12 and will continue till April 25.
Before the start of the IPL, the share of Hindi GECs in overall TV viewing pie was 31.1 (CS 4+, February 28 to March 12) and during the period of March 14 to March 27, it has gone down to 27.4 (CS 4+), a decline of 11.7 per cent in the ratings.
According to Kartik Iyer, MD, Carat Media India, an 8-10 per cent drop in the performance of these GECs should not be a cause of concern. “GECs are holding up very well and even the individual programmes on these GECs are doing well,” he added.
Agreeing with him, Sudha Natrajan, President and COO, Lintas Media Group, pointed out that last year, the overall effect that IPL had on GECs was a loss of 10-15 per cent in the overall viewership over the whole period of 45-odd days and that a similar impact was expected this year.
The top shows on GECs have also seen a decline, albeit marginally, in terms of ratings. For instance, before IPL, ‘Balika Vadhu’ had a rating of 5.7 TVR, while during IPL it dropped to 5.3 TVR. Similarly, ‘Pavitra Rishta’ was 5.4 TVR earlier and is 5.0 TVR during the IPl period, and ‘Yeh rishta kya kehlata hai’ had a rating of 7.0 TVR earlier and now it is at 5.4 TVR.
Divya Radhakrishnan, President, TME, too, felt that the shift in numbers was insignificant. “Both events have had their share of audiences and the trend is now clear over a three-year period. Ideally, I would not compare the two as IPL is predominantly male, while mainstream soap is female audience delivery,” she added.
Meanwhile, the ratings of the third edition of IPL have been on par with the first two. In the first year, the overall ratings for IPL was 4.84, it was 4.36 in 2009, and so far in 2010, it is at 4.74 TVR.
“IPL has been getting a fairly steady viewership, but with the increasing universe size, the audience numbers are growing. I see this trend in viewership continuing,” Natrajan said.
Even though the third season of IPL is just halfway through, media planners are already talking about how the introduction of the two new teams – Pune and Kochi – will result in the increase in the number of IPL matches, which will possibly change the numbers in the next season.