Can a single programming move make or break a channel’s weekly performance? Can a channel bring about a loyalty shift in its viewers by offering an occasional treat here and there? As it turns out, a strategic programming layout does wonders, more so in the less highlighted weekend charts. In the Hindi general entertainment space, top two channels – Star Plus and Colors – are leaving no stone unturned to push the ratings envelope.
Star Plus bears testimony to such cards played right, as it reigns as the top GEC for another week with 415 GRPs as per TAM ratings for Week 48 in the HSM CS 4+ markets. The same week, Colors premiered the blockbuster ‘Dabangg’, which pulled in a 9.2 TVR, giving the channel a huge thrust of 81 points from 264 GRPs to 365 GRPs.
Thus, even while ‘Dabangg’ drew a large number of eyeballs, and helped Colors inch closer to the leader, Star Plus managed to maintain its numero uno position. What did the trick? A clever programming move of following up a marathon of reruns on Saturday with a ‘maha episode’ of alternating prime time hot properties, like ‘Saath Nibhana Saathiya’ and ‘Gulaal’ for the said week, following it up with an hour-long episode of ‘Masterchef India’ and rounding off the day with Sahara India Sports Awards, which drew a 3.8 TVR. ‘Saath Nibhana Saathiya’ (Monday to Friday, 19:00), the No. 1 Hindi show for the week, has increased by 7 per cent to 6.0 TVR in Week 49 (5.6 in Week 48). This is the highest rating for the show since its launch, making it the clear slot leader across markets, further strengthening the channel’s lead, along with ‘Saasural Genda Phool’, which averages at 5.0 TVR. Thus, ‘Saath Nibhana Saathiya’ has propelled Star Plus to clear leadership in the 7-8 pm time band across weekdays.
Star Plus has been leading the Hindi general entertainment genre for a considerable time now, but this week, it has reason to celebrate. During this year, the channel saw its ratings cross the 400+ benchmark last June, when the channel had come out with a fresh new look. The last time the channel saw such numbers was in its golden patch in 2008, with the K shows (‘Kyunki Saans Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi’ ‘Kasautii Zindagi ki’… etc.). Colors entered the genre in 2008 with ‘Khatron ke Khiladi’, and has been delivering strong content shows such as ‘Balika Vadhu’ and the current newsmaker, ‘Bigg Boss’. With ‘Bigg Boss’ now drawing to a close, one can only wait to see what Colors has lined up next.
As the top two channels battle it out, Zee TV and Sony have taken a sharp hit, losing out on both ratings as well as market share. Sony Entertainment Television has lined up its most expensive property, ‘Jhalak Dikkhla Ja’, to replace crowd puller, ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’. Star Plus and Colors have grown to about 28 per cent and 23 per cent, respectively, rising by about 2 per cent and 5 per cent. Zee, on the other hand, has fallen to 184 GRPs, while Sony is now at 181 GRPs.