TAM TVT ratings for week 31 of 2013 revealed that SAB TV had displaced Sony TV from fourth position in the GEC rankings. With digitisation and the placements of channels getting better, viewers now have access to more content on television.
The Hindi GE space has witnessed a steady shift in viewership post digitisation. Experts highlight that post DAS Phase II, overall viewership has fragmented, which has resulted in slight migration of audiences.
Experts share that the overall consistency of the GEC genre remains robust. This can be attributed to the fact that the ratings of the prime time shows are highest in the GEC genre. The top two shows in the genre have been Diya Aur Baati Hum on Star Plus; it fetched an average TVT of 10,332 in week 31 (previous week 9133). SAB’s Taarak Mehta ka Ooltah Chashma jumped n to No. 2 position in Week 31. The show fetched an average TVT of 8,161 against previous week’s 7,724. The high viewership of the show was one of the prime factors behind SAB overtaking Sony in Week 31.
Viewership fragmentation and digitisation
Here is what the experts have to say about the connect between digitisation and viewer fragmentation. “Post digitisation, digital homes have a substantial share in viewership as compared to cable and satellite (C&S) homes. The game is even now between C&S homes and digital homes. The overall viewership also depends on how robust is the genre viewed in the digital homes, which have risen substantially. Moreover, if we talk about the overall share of the GECs, it has reasonably been consistent though, the share of channels like Star Plus has gone down marginally,” said Satyajit Sen, CEO, Zenith Optimedia.
SAB TV has already started gaining traction and Life OK has also seen a minute rise in the TVT ratings. As the table above depicts, Life OK garnered 240 million viewers, while in Week 30 the number was 239.9 million. But, the factors are periodical and experts argue that the numbers cannot be the sole factor to judge whether or not the entire genre has been impacted positively or negatively.
“GECs have not gained and have seen a decline in the overall viewership, especially in the four metros. Having said this, the viewership has not declined suddenly. Since the relative share of the genre has gone down as compared to other genres, we see the segment being affected. But Hindi GEC is still the most robust genre on TV today and the HSM data substantiates the fact and strength of the genre,” said PM Balakrishna, COO, Allied media.
Critics argue that the HSM market is not very volatile but as more and more content is made available, the market may respond unexpectedly. At a stage where international shows are being premiered in India as well, the GEC genre might face some stiff competition, but as of now, things look robust.
“Since most top rung GECs anyway had better connectivity than other genres, there won't be as much of an impact on viewership in this genre as with others. Level II GECs such as Life OK and SAB may see an upside,” expressed Shailesh Vandy of Mudra Max.