Comedy as a genre wasn't playing much role for Hindi mass entertainment of late. However, with both STAR and Sony launching comedies on their weekends, the genre gained some buzz and if the opening numbers are anything to go by, the audience evidently do want to sample the Indian programmers' humorous side.
Quoting data from TAM Media Research, 'LOC' has opened to a TVR of 5.47 for the target CS4+ in the Hindi speaking market. 'Batliwalla…' on Sony has delivered a 3.9 for the given TG and market. Observing the slot performance, both shows performed slightly better than the previous weeks.
The industry however is happy with both the numbers. Pradeep Iyengar, Vice President and National Buying Head, Carat Media, said, "These are very encouraging numbers. Being the first episode, these are obviously a result of promotions."
Both shows have consumed a sizeable portion of GRPs on the respective channels, apart from the noise they made in other mediums. "Kkavyanjali opened well," said Iyengar, "The way channels are promoting new programmes in order to garner higher channel shares seems to be paying off, irrespective of how irritant the ads are."
On a slightly more cautious note, Divya Radhakrishnan, Vice President, The Media Edge said, "Since these are just the opening numbers, they are not enough to determine the show's fate going forward. Being comedies, the shows need to be treated carefully. That said, these are definitely good numbers for beginners."
As for the channels, for both shows the performance is as per expectations. "These are good numbers to begin on, but we can see the show only growing from here. LOC is a great product and will prove to be a great alternative on Fridays," said Ajay Vidyasagar, Head, Marketing, STAR India, "We have received an overwhelming feedback."
Commenting on the dip in numbers that Shararat has seen in its new time slot, due to LOC taking the 8.30 pm band, he said, "This was expected due to the change in the day part but this will change soon too."
"Batliwalla… is a chat show weaved in a comedy and the fact that it has been accepted to well is good for the genre itself," said Tarun Katial, EVP and Business Head, Sony Entertainment Television.
Media experts too agree that these numbers indicate a growth for television in India, as increasingly differentiated programming is being appreciated. Radhakrishnan said, "It was a good idea to experiment with the comedy genre and it is even great to see that the experiment has paid of, at least for starters."
The opening numbers being good for both channels does indeed imply that comedy as a genre can be accepted well if treated well on Indian television. Whether channels manage to treat it well, one will soon find out.