Indian Idol's success might be the past for Sony now, at least for the time being, and Friday has already seen a dip but the channel has quite a few things to talk about with the rise in TVRs that Jassi is experiencing in its transformation stage and the new Balaji offering 'Kaisa Ye Pyar Hai' coming in its 8.00 pm slot on March 29, 2005.
The 'Idol-Equity', as experts call it, has made some contribution to 'Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahi' and as Sony's marketing head Tushar Shah had put it, the change was indeed what the Indian audience were waiting for. The one-hour special that the channel aired for the show on the same day as the 'Indian Idol' finale seems to have given it the extra push that the high point of the story required.
Even as the Jassi special episode gave the channel a 10.9 indicating a healthy level of sampling, the real question was whether this would translate into weekday ratings. According to TAM Media Research numbers, in the first week, it has.
Jassi..., which was moving between the ratings of 2 and 3 plus marks for the past few weeks, opened to a 5.13, moving to 5.19, 6.79 and 6.91 finally in the last TAM week. For the CS ABC 15+ Females, the ratings are as high as 10.16 in the Thursday episode. Even though the 'special' strategy worked for 'Jassi...', it couldn't do the same thing for 'Dance Dance,' whose special threw as high as 3 plus only to come back to its original 1 mark in the regular Friday slot.
Commenting on the response to Jassi's change, Shah says, "Sony has given Brand Jassi a holistic approach right from day one in all its aspects - marketing to content, in every way to ensure that it is the most successful brand of recent times. The numbers that you see now are not in hindsight but in foresight and this will only grow further."
The other shows that were benefiting from 'Indian Idol' have varied stories to tell. 'CID' has dipped from the consistent 6 and 7 plus it was throwing to a 5 this week but 'Crime Patrol' is going steady in its 4 + region. This week's episode of 'Batliwalla House No. 43' has also seen a considerable fall. From the 3.9 and 3.18 that the show was giving, it has made a 1.96 this week. 'Aahat 2' in the Friday 9.30 pm slot sees a drop too, though a minor one, coming down to a 2.03 from the 3 plus it had begun airing.
In all, the Friday channel share for Sony has come down to 9.57 per cent this week from the 15 + and 18 + that it was delivering in the last five weeks. Interestingly, the only mass channel that seems to have seen an increase in this slot, this week is Zee TV, which managed a 6.89 per cent share as against the 3 plus it had for the previous two weeks.
In regards to the new offering, the 8.00 pm slot is a difficult one and who better than Sony to know it. For a long time, the channel hadn't seen any initiative on the slot and then it brought the kids' programme 'Hum Do Hai Na', which never did manage to take off for the channel in August last year. The programme was then phased off and the channel has housed 'Abhijeet Ka Safar' on the slot now. But come March 29, 2005 the youth love story from Balaji is all set to lure the Indian viewer.
The half-hour show is planned as a Monday to Thursday and will be competing against 'Dekho Magar Pyaar Se'. The teaser campaign 'Who is Sunny' around the show has already begun. Commenting on the move, Pradeep Iyengar, Vice President and National Buying Head, Carat Media, said, "It is a good move to have another show in the slot but Sony hasn't managed to crack this slot at all as yet. So, they should have tried to encash on Idol's equity for the show."
"They will be competing with similar kinds of shows. Television, presently in any case, has such shows and so they would be looking at how they give something superbly appealing or different but we have to still see how they manage it," added Divya Radhakrishnan, Vice President, The Media Edge.
Those in the thick of the situation know that there is more and lots more coming from the Sony stable soon. The channel is experimenting and evidently is experiencing its shares of failures and success. What happens to Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahi post-transformation and to 'Kaisa Ye Pyar Hai', one will know soon.