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Sony makes Jassi thrice a week to ensure steady ratings

30-November-2004
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Sony makes Jassi thrice a week to ensure steady ratings

Indian Idol is reaping benefits for Sony, but not everyone is pleased. While on one hand, Thursday means an increase in the channel’s overall performance, it also means a drop for ‘Jassi…’ and ‘Ye Meri…’ on that specific day.

Indian Idol is the channel’s biggest bet currently and Sony has ensured that it is giving the show its best push. Consequently, this meant placing Idol in the Thursday 9.30 pm slot, which pushed ‘Jassi…’ on the 10.30 pm band and ‘Ye Meri…’ on 11.00 pm. In effect, this means that on Thursdays, original programming extends to 11.30 pm, as against the usual 10.30 pm.

For an indication, when the three weeks prior to ‘Indian Idol’ are observed, Sony has seen TVRs anywhere between 1.6 and 1.9 in 9.30 to 11.30 slot on Thursdays. However, in week 44, which brings in ‘Indian Idol’, ratings here have increased to 3.26, it reaches 4.07 in week 45, and then 3.69 and 3.86 in week 46 and 47 respectively – evidently, a gain for the channel.

The ratings are definite gain if one looks at GRPs. However, the fact that on mass entertainment channels, programmes are sold and not time slots, the effect on ‘Jassi…’ is not being seen in a positive light.

Looking at numbers again, in week 45, ‘Jassi…’ shows a 46 per cent drop in the Thursday episode giving the show a rating of 1.6. Week 46 registered a 45 per cent drop throwing up 1.74 and week 47 gave the show 1.07. The scene with ‘Ye Meri’ is similar.

With the changed timings, the drop hasn’t come as a surprise but the extent of drop has certainly been a shock. “A drop was expected, but not so much,” states Gautam Rajagopal, Group Head, Broadcast Investment, Starcom, “This is a problem as most deals have ‘Jassi…’ on it and this results in a significant GRP drop.”

Adding to that, Abbas Muni, General Manager (North and West), Carat, says, “Indian Idol is big for Sony and they have to take a beating somewhere. But this is a serious loss for the advertisers on the show. The channel will have to compensate for this, so that the CPRPs don’t go up.”

All the players believe that this can affect the shows, in particular ‘Jassi…’. Navin Kathuria, Media Group Head, Media Direction, expresses, “If you look at the overall Jassi numbers they are registering a marginal drop. Audience does seem to be leaving the show and a step of this kind will give them further reasons to do so all the more.”

What is the reason behind this fall? “The change hasn’t been communicated well at all to the viewers,” begins Rajagopal, “How are the viewers expected to know of such sudden changes?”

Another reason that Muni brings forth is that 10.30 pm means competing with ‘Kyunki…’ which has a very loyal following, “The competition is too tough. There is absolutely no way you can break into that.”

Agreeing with both and adding further, Kathuria observes, “Also Indian Idol has exceeded the planned playtime. For instance, the November 18 episode was 15 minutes extra, which meant Jassi… began at 10.50 pm. This is too late and by the time, it gets to ‘Ye Meri’, it is even late. The shows have to take a beating.”

The channel has obviously taken note of the problem. Tarun Katial, EVP, Programming and Response, informs, “We will be playing Jassi three days a week now, that is Monday to Wednesday.”

Was the decision to bring it on later time slots a mistake? “No,” replies Katial, “It is just getting too late for ‘Ye Meri’ and hence it makes sense to take ‘Jassi…’ off on Thursday and keep ‘Ye Meri’ on the 10.30 pm slot.”

With this, evidently Jassi becomes a thrice a week deal and ‘Ye Meri’ has to continue with its Thursday battle. However, this has been a course taken to keep the viewers as well as the advertisers happy.

(Ratings calculated on TAM Media Research data for the target CS 4 + in the Hindi speaking market)

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