The 9.00 to 10.00 pm slot seems to be registering different growth graphs for the mass entertainment channels. Looking at the past seven months, when Zee TV doesn’t seem to have much of a change in its graph, Sony Entertainment Television has managed to register some increase. However, the leader is consistently losing points here.
Looking closely at STAR’s performance, the slot hosts the one-hour weeklies. TAM Media Research’s numbers for the past seven months in the Hindi speaking markets for target CS 4+ indicate that most STAR weeklies are losing ground with the audience. Until week nine, the weekday average rating of the slot has given channel shares like 40.82 and 39.93 to STAR. The lowest in the period is 36.59 per cent.
Following this, during week 9 to week 18, the channel records its highest numbers of 37.39 in week 11 and 34.36 in week 14. Cricket week’s drops notwithstanding, the lowest rating in this period is 31.98 in week 15. In the following phase, week 19 gives the channel a high of 37.46 but that is highest recorded in the period hence. Post that, week 24 is the only exception where the channel gets a share of 35.91. The graph is otherwise dominated by lows like 32.39 in week 26 and 32.36 in week 27.
If the four weeklies in the slot are observed individually, each register declining graphs, however the fall varies. ‘Sanjivani’ and ‘Kehta Hai Dil’ have recorded a higher drop in their performance in comparison to ‘Des Mein Nikla Hoga Chand’ and ‘Saara Aakash’. Until week nine all weeklies have delivered their highest numbers for the channel. Where ‘Des Mein..’ has given the channel 15-plus, ‘Sanjivani’ closely followed at 14.93. The decline begins in the subsequent period.
In the case of ‘Des Mein’, the programme has recorded the highest in week 23 where it gets a rating of 12. But in the weeks around the period, the show plays anywhere between 9.8 to 7.94.
As for ‘Sanjivani’, from week nine to 13, the show still manages double-digit ratings, touching 12-plus points. The show has largely achieved the eight-plus points in the period after that, occasionally rising to a nine or dropping to seven-plus.
From week one to 13, ‘Kehta Hai Dil’ has delivered average ratings of 11. In the following period, till week 27, however, the average ratings fell to nine. ‘Saara Aakash’ is perhaps the only one that is delivering good numbers for the channel. In terms of average ratings, the programme lost a little in the period between week nine to 17. But in the following weeks, the show has picked up and delivered better averages, largely maintaining 10-plus numbers. The lowest that the show has registered in this period is 8.86.
The Channel’s Plan of Action
Commenting on the fall in ratings, Deepak Segal, Sr VP, Content and Communication, STAR India, explains that at large most of the weeklies have gone through changes in the storylines and that usually takes time to settle with the audience. “The game of a weekly is different one and a difficult one at that. To get the audience back every week can be a tedious task and the storylines have to constantly re-invent themselves. In such a scene, swing in ratings is obvious,” he remarks.
He further explains that to maintain ratings of seven and eight in one-hour formats too can be a trying ordeal, “But a job well done!” he says, “To keep the audience with you for an hour on the same story isn’t easy. But we always have plans and you will soon see some changes in these programmes as well.”
While Segal prefers not to discuss any of his plans currently, industry sources inform that STAR India will soon wrap up its weekly shows. The first to move out the Plus screen would be ‘Kehta Hai Dil’ and ‘Sanjivani’. The programmes do appear to be on the final stages in their lifecycle, in any case. One of the new programmes will be an adaptation of Televisa’s telenovela Wild Angels. As of right now, the show is expected to come in place of ‘Kehta Hai Dil’.
The second show is an Indo-Pak comedy that is shot in London, coming from the Eagle Films stable. As of right now, word is that it comes in the place of ‘Sanjivani’. In the current plan, ‘Saara Aakash’ will continue to play its innings on the channel.
As for ‘Des …’, the show has recently seen a change in producers and the channel is still waiting to see how it delivers in the future. The performance of the show plays a critical role in the channel’s final decision on where the forthcoming shows will be placed.