Weekends are turning to be better and better for Sony. To begin with the channel's big ticket show Indian Idol is rocking more than ever. Filmfare has done well and weekend shows like CID too gave a TVR of 7+. What is perhaps better news is that other mass channels haven't lost shares in the weekends, making this one of the best weekend for Hindi mass entertainment.
According to TAM Media research numbers, while Indian Idol's Thursday (February 24, 2005) episode has delivered an all time high of 11.49 bringing the rare news of a Sony offering being in the top ten of Indian television, the Friday rating at 9.46 too is quite an achievement. What is interesting is that the re-launched 'Khullja Sim Sim' on Star Plus on this day also has thrown it's highest ever at 7.54.
Looking at Filmfare numbers on February 26, Sony got a 4.16 TVR for the show. Pitted right against it was Star Plus' dubbed offerings of 'The Mummy' and 'X-Men 2'. 'The Mummy' gave the channel a 4.57 and 'X-Men 2' at 1.86. The channels are excited. "We are the clear slot leaders with the performance of 'The Mummy' has actually choked the ratings on anything else that competition had to offer," said Ajay Vidyasagar.
As for Sony, the channel is happy. Sharing the channel's view on Indian Idol's performance, Tushar Shah, Head, Marketing, SET, said, "The show has got over 20 in Mumbai and was the highest rated show in the city. This is unprecedented success and proves that the show is truly of the people, for the people and by the people."
He believes that the well integrated 360-degree approach and the execution of the show has helped the show in raking high TRPs. "The format has done well in all the countries it has been present in so far and India too has proved to be another success story," said Shah.
For the industry, the show is good news. Shashi Sinha, President, Lodestar Media said, "Where the show is delivering on the ratings count, what is important is that even on the qualitative part of it, this is one show that has captured high involvement levels from the audience."
He cites examples of the record SMS that the show has managed, apart from the talking point that it has become with the public to show the qualitative attribute of the show. "Also, this show is just as famous with the masses as it is with the classes, rating high even in the upscale, urban audience. It is like buying cricket, only cricket has a male skew and was a pure family show," said Sinha.
Agreeing with this and adding further, GroupM's Lakshmi Narasimhan said, "In terms of absolute numbers, the show hasn't done the way it has internationally but what is encouraging is that unlike the global graphs, where ratings taper off in the mid level, in India, the figures never dropped from a certain threshold. Given the fragmentation in the market today, these are good numbers."
The market is very highly fragmented and weekends have always been one area where channels faced their share of difficulty in getting it just right. Recent numbers and the fact that growth can be seen for most mass entertainment channels is a very positive direction for Indian television and only means growth if the channels manage to continue to be in that direction. CID hasn't gone below the 6 mark in the last few weeks and Crime Patrol is on a stable 4+. These numbers are better that what Sony weekdays have to offer. Weekends sure have reasons to celebrate!