It was in August 2009, when Sameer Nair, CEO, Turner General Entertainment Networks, (then NDTV Imagine Ltd) had said that while the success of initiatives like ‘Rakhi Ka Swayamvar’ had taken the channel to the 140-GRP mark, the next target level for the channel was 175-200 GRP mark. The performance of Swayamvar Season 2 – ‘Rahul Dulhaniya Le Jayega’ – has evidently taken the channel closer to that goal.
‘Rakhi Ka Swayamvar’ had clocked a TRP of 8.4 for the two-hour long finale that was aired on August 2, 2009. In that week, Imagine stood at 141 GRPs, as the No. 4 channel in the Hindi general entertainment genre. In comparison, the final episode of Swayamvar Season 2 – ‘Rahul Dulhaniya Le Jayega’ – had a score of 5.6 TRP. But the GRP share of the channel increased to an unprecedented 172 with a 12 per cent market share taking Imagine to the No. 4 position again. Last week, the channel had 123 GRPs and a 9 per cent market share.
While the overall performance of the channel has gone up, exchange4media takes a closer look at the performance of the two seasons, and what worked in favour of the latter as much. The first reason, according to media planners, is that this is a natural phenomenon as the first season’s ratings are usually higher than the subsequent seasons. The second reason was Rakhi Sawant.
Looking at the numbers once again, ‘Rahul Dulhaniya Le Jayega’ debuted with 2.1 TVR, ‘Rakhi Ka Swayamvar’ had opened with approximately double that figure at 4.1 TVR. For the ‘Mehndi’ ceremony episodes, too, ‘Rakhi Ka Swayamvar’ was ahead with a TVR of 3.4 vis-à-vis 2.7 TVR for ‘Rahul Dulhaniya Le Jayega’.
Shailja Kejriwal, EVP - Content, Imagine, insisted that the numbers were as per expectations. “The ‘Rakhi Ka Swayamvar’ finale was a two-hour episode, while the final episode of ‘Rahul Dulhaniya Le Jayega’ was nearly three and a half hours long. So, the number of viewers will eventually be on par with each other,” she maintained.
She further said, “It’s a given that a reality show format will do better in the first season. By the second season, viewers are used to the format and know what to expect.”
Talks are now on about a third season featuring a cricketer as the protagonist.
Novelty Factor and Rakhi Sawant: Experts
Dinesh Vyas, Vice President & Head, TME Mumbai, remarked, “Voyeurism in India is now out of the closet and is the new favourite form of entertainment. This is currently being exploited by different channels in different forms/ programmes. When ‘Rakhi Ka Swayamvar’ was launched, it was a new concept by the channel – the story of a celebrity, who has been in the news for the wrong reasons, was the reason viewers may have latched on to the programme to see the drama and the final ending.”
He added, “‘Rahul Dulhaniya Le Jayega’, thus, may have opened up to lesser rating points as the belief in the concept was diluted. This also establishes a fact that reality shows in different formats may work best for the first time, but then lose their uniqueness in the forthcoming seasons.”
Himanka Das, Associate Vice President, Karishma Initiative West, said, “One thing to consider is the difference in the telecast timings of ‘Rakhi Ka Swayamvar’ and ‘Rahul Dulhaniya Le Jayega’. The performance of these shows depended on other channels’ programming strategy and the popularity of these programmes.”
According to Hema Malik, General Manager, Lodestar Universal, “The first season did well owing to the novelty of the concept. Rakhi Sawant has the ability to pull in a fair amount of viewers and that worked in the first season as well. When she did not get engaged, the genuineness of the concept was questioned, but when in the second season, it was promised that there will be a wedding, the viewers started believing in the concept again.”
She further said that the percentage of viewers that had increased for ‘Rahul Dulhaniya Le Jayega’ from the first episode to the final one was more than the increase in the number of viewers for ‘Rakhi Ka Swayamvar’.
‘Rakhi ka Swayamvar’ finale scores an 8 plus for NDTV Imagine