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Indian Idol ratings decline over the seasons

12-May-2010
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Indian Idol ratings decline over the seasons

It’s been five years since the first episode of ‘Indian Idol’ was telecast on Sony. Now, in its fifth season, the show has continued its association with the channel. While it is a given that the first season of any reality show performs really well, the ratings of ‘Indian Idol’ have been declining season over season.

The first episode of Indian Idol (Season 1) opened with the highest ratings that this show has got – 5.8 TVR. The second season opened on a slightly lower note at 5.4 TVR. Indian Idol 3 opened on a really low TVR of 3.7, while the fourth season picked up a bit and opened at 3.9 TVR. The current season witnessed the lowest opening for this show so far – 3.0 TVR.

Is the concept losing its sheen considering that there are quite a few reality shows on other channels well that have a more adventurous concept as its core? exchange4media finds out from media planners.

T Gangadhar, Managing Director, India, MEC is not surprised to see the fall in numbers over the seasons. He said, “I am wondering if the ‘Indian Idol’ franchise in its present form is past its shelf life. One reason for the fatigue in viewership could be on account of the reducing level of talent and the staleness in the jury.”

Avinash Pillai, National Buying Director, MediaCom, too, said that music-based shows involving adult participants had seen a decline in performance slowly. “It could be because the audience is spoilt for choice with several format shows and decide to follow one particular format show more than the other,” he added.

He further said, “‘Indian Idol’ is pitted against strong performing programmes on competition, which are serials, and it is difficult to move this critical mass, who are hooked on to the twists and turns of the serials.”

According to Nikhil Rangnekar, Executive Director, India West, Starcom Worldwide, “The novelty value is not decreasing, there is no novelty value left at all. Also, Sony being in the second rung of GECs has a limited reach, compared to the top rung channels, which could also be contributing to audiences being left out of the promotions.”

While some changes in the content and judges could be introduced to bring in some freshness to the show, media planners suggest that the format of the show could be reworked as well.

“It is also very important that the winning talent is promoted in a big way even after the show is over. That way, both the talent and the show will be salient through the year,” Gangadhar suggested.

On the other hand, Pillai pointed out that while a change of judges might work in pulling the initial audience, it was purely the content of the show (the singing talent) that would hold the audience for the life of the show.

Rangnekar felt that there was something definitely worth experimenting with as far as content/ programming was concerned. “I think people are tired of Anu Malik and new faces and more popular judges/ guests/ host might be needed,” he said.

Hope the ‘Indian Idol’ show promoters and Sony take note of these suggestions. What began as a bang and made a star of a talented singer like Abhijeet Sawant, should not fizzle out of public memory. Especially, when the original format ‘American Idol’ is still going strong.

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