The end of soaps in India is a debate that has been under the scanner for a very long time. However, time and again, serials, especially ‘K-serials’, have delivered enough to show that soaps will continue to stay in India. Nonetheless, the opening numbers of some of the recently launched initiatives on television in the Hindi general entertainment category do tend to suggest that people in India are getting a tad bored of soaps.
Looking at some numbers, TAM Media Research shows that for the target C&S 4+ in the Hindi speaking markets, both of Star Plus’ new shows ‘Kasturi’ and ‘Meri Awaz Ko Mil Gayi Roshni’ are hovering between the 2 plus and 3 plus TRP, even though ‘Kasturi’ did open at a 4 plus rating and ‘Meri Awaz…’ at almost 4.
Zee TV’s ‘Teen Bahuraaniyaan’ too has been around the 2 plus and 1 plus mark. On the other hand, Sony Entertainment Television’s ‘Indian Idol’ has delivered an opening 3.64 TRP in its first two episodes, and Zee TV’s ‘Saregama Challenger 2007’ has delivered a TRP of 3.45 that was launched on the same day.
Media experts are of the opinion that in today’s standards, the 3 plus numbers are good. It should be noted that while these format shows come in the weekend when the competition is lesser, the soaps are on the weekdays, where fragmentation increases a little everyday.
Rajneesh Chaturvedi, Business Director, Motivator, said, “Numbers are decreasing and some factors can be increasing fragmentation, shift of audience preferences, to differentiated kinds of shows and even change in the TAM panels. The soaps that were at one point giving 14 and 15 TRPs are now at 6 plus and that is a discouraging number. But that is where television is headed.”
Manoj Malkani, Business Director, Carat Media, agreed. “Star Plus is seeing a drop in numbers. Many have said, time and again, that this is the end of soaps in India. But each time someone makes that comment, there are enough and more reasons to think otherwise.”
Giving a thumbs up to the format show numbers, Chaturvedi said, “In the case of Sony, it really was the case where if this didn’t work, then what would work!”
Even the opening numbers of ‘Indian Idol’ and ‘Saregama Challenge 2007’ is seen as positive, what experts are waiting to see is whether these shows can hold on to these numbers and grow them. A rating of 7 plus is not difficult with the right content – KBC-SRK at least is a proof of that.