KBC ratings fall accentuates Sony's troubles

Viewership fatigue and stiff competition from other channels has led to the decline in stickiness of KBC's Season 7, resulting in a ratings drop of more than 50 per cent

e4m by Abhinav Trivedi
Updated: Oct 8, 2013 8:33 AM
KBC ratings fall accentuates Sony's troubles

Kaun Banega Crorepati, the flagship show of Sony TV, is in its seventh season. The show, hosted by Amitabh Bachchan, has nine sponsors on board and started airing on September 6.  This season of KBC is expected to rake in revenues of more than Rs 200 crore.  But the show is facing decline in ratings.

The Season 7 of KBC had a successful opening, but subsequently the show has suffered a ratings drop of more than 50 per cent. As per the ratings data sourced from TAM subscribers, the show had opened with an average weekly rating of 4+, but has gone down to average weekly rating of below 2, in the week ending on September 28 (HSM market CS4+).
In terms of TVTs, the show garnered an average of 6134 TVTs in Week 38 (September 15 –September 21), and 5176 TVTs in Week 39 (September 22 – September 28). In Week 39, the channel slipped to number six position. The show had opened with 8,950 TVTs on September 6 and garnered 8,460 TVTs on September 7.

Senior media planners we spoke to, on condition of anonymity, have agreed that KBC content has been successful till now, but Season 7 is not only facing viewership fatigue, but also stiff competition from other shows on different channels.

“The show is respected, but has nothing new. Viewer fatigue is one of the prime reasons for decline in stickiness of the show. The audience today is very volatile and it enjoys certain content only if it refreshes itself. The content and theme of the KBC has been same since years and people have moved on. People watch it for some time, and at a time of commercial break, they switch the channel. Time and again, they come back, and the process is repeated. This reduces the stickiness and time spent on the show. Large number of viewers now wants to sample content they have not sampled before,” said a senior media planner.

Another reason, which has emerged, is the competition from other shows and increase in the channel sampling ability of the viewers. A CEO of a leading media agency shared, “There is a huge competition from other shows, and post digitisation, a viewer has many options. Sony has even tried to refresh KBC in certain ways, but the competition is stiff. This has affected them in a big way.”

Although another senior industry expert mentioned, “The show might be losing on the ratings front, but its loyal viewership will remain steady. The target group that enjoys KBC will keep doing so.”

Some experts we spoke to also share that lately MSM dispute with some leading cable operators, including Hathway Cables, may have also led to the downfall in the viewership of the show.

Will this affect the inventory cost?
Senior advertisers and planners we spoke to shared that in case of KBC, there will be no impact on locked up inventory, as the prices have already been sealed. But citing that the ratings of the show have going down, advertisers are demanding increased visibility at the same price.

Another advertiser said, “There will be an impact only on the spot-buy inventories. Contract inventories sealed earlier will not get affected.”

However, a senior advertising professional maintained that, “Sony is admirable in the sense that it has always stood by the advertisers. The channel works in close partnership with advertisers, taking a long-term view instead of short-term gains.”


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