'Indian Idol' has finally come to an end and the finale numbers, according to channel officials, are quite what Sony was looking for. Even as the show opened at a high of 5+, one of the best launch figure in 2004, rating picked pace once the gala rounds began and built up to give the channel a 14.29 for the finale on March 5, 2005. TAM Media Research's ratings show that properties like 'Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahi' and 'Dance Dance' also have benefited from this final episode.
Looking at ratings, TAM numbers for the target CS 4+ in the Hindi speaking market gave the show an opening figure of 5.78. From here on, the show played between the ratings of 5.31 to as high as 6.41 till mid-November. From the episode of November 19, 2004, which gave the show a rating of 4.31, the remaining of 2004 meant low ratings for Indian Idol. Barring the December 30 episode, the show was moving only between 3+ to 4+ TVRs.
Consolidation period for the show came only in January when the 5+ mark came back and grew to a steady 6+ and 7+ for the channel. February 18, 2005 gave the channel some more reasons to celebrate when the show delivered a 9.55. Things only got better for Sony when Indian Idol in the following week delivered a rating of 11.49, taking the show in the top ten and the best of it all came in the finale with a 14.29.
The channel officials explain that the fall in numbers in the November and December period was expected, as this was the trend seen internationally. Said Tarun Katial, EVP, Sony Television, "The performance graphs are more or less similar, except the fact that we received higher ratings for the result episode than the performance episode, which is unusual when compared to the other markets."
Commenting on how Indian Idol helped Sony, he said, "In more ways than one. Our Thursday slots have seen a huge jump. For over 10 weeks, we have leadership position on Fridays. Crime Patrol and CID have thrown numbers they have never seen before. 'Battliwala…' and 'Aahat 2' got a great opening. The channel is really looking up. Who was the last to throw a 9 + against 'Kahaani…' and 'Kyunki…'!"
When the all-week average channel shares for Sony evenings (8.00 pm t0 11.30 pm) are seen, the channel shows a steady increase, even if not a very drastic one. Sony was getting channels shares as high as 8.99 and 9.7 even in September 2004. Post the launch of Indian Idol the 8 plus and 9 plus ratings easily came to the channel. In the last eight weeks, this position has consolidated further and Sony plays between 12.94 and 8.5 figures now. Has the gap between the leader and challenger lessened in this much time? One could say that for the past three weeks only.
If the Monday to Thursday period (when both channels air their dailies) is seen, there is no difference in either's position, keeping Star Plus at a considerable high. However, weekends are an absolute battle and Sony is throwing better numbers in the past 10 weeks in comparison to the period prior to that.
What is also interesting is that 'Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahi' delivered a 10+ and 'Dance Dance' a 3+ on March 5, 2005, the day Indian Idol final was aired. The decision was a deliberate one for both shows. "This allowed huge sampling for the brands and would benefit each," said Katial.
In the period that Indian Idol was on-air, 'Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahi' saw some of its lowest numbers. Ye Meri and Kkusum too didn't give the channel much to talk about. However, according to Katial, "These shows were on such storylines, which usually see a tapering of numbers. However, both Jassi and Kkusum are going to be a fast pace affair now and Ye Meri too is going to be rapid. The audience have quite a lot to look out for now, not to mention Kaisa Ye Pyaar Hai."
The channel believes that Indian Idol has played its role for the channel. The show is established and Sony is already looking forward to the second season in September 2005. End March, it is the new Balaji offering from the channel but how much does Sony maintain and grow its present share is a million dollar question and many are waiting to see the answer.