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The ‘Bigg Boss’ dilemma for Sony

27-November-2006
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The ‘Bigg Boss’ dilemma for Sony

‘Bigg Boss’ on Sony Entertainment Television is almost three weeks old and we already have a performance trend for two weeks. TAM Media Research indicates a dip in numbers for the show from the first week to the second for the target CS 4+ in the Hindi speaking markets. Media experts have two things to point here – one being a new show and finding place amongst the top performers of the channel is positive, and second, the nature of the show should ideally see a loyal and involved audience coming in.

Looking at the numbers first, the show opened at 2.8 on Friday, November 3, 2006. The first week saw Monday ratings deliver as high as 3.26. However, this is the highest the show has seen so far. The Tuesday to Friday numbers in the first week managed to stay around 2.5 – Saturday dipping from the 2+ TRP. In the second week, the highest that the show touched was 2.2 on Tuesday, else the episodes of the second week are largely below the 2 TRP mark.

If a channel-based comparison has to be made, ‘Bigg Boss’ has found its place among some of the most delivering shows of Sony like ‘CID’ and ‘Boogie Woogie’. Many new shows like ‘Kaajjal’ have ranked lower than these shows. From that point of view, ‘Bigg Boss’ is good news for Sony. Nandini Dias, Vice-president, Lodestar Universal, said, “A new show delivering numbers that some of the best Sony shows deliver, is good news. Plus people who will come back to watch it are really the audience who are involved in the show and that is good.”

Manoj Malkani, National TV Buying Head for Carat Media agreed with this. He said, “Getting 2+ and 3+ is good, but now the show is just below 2. The channel should focus on how this shouldn’t come down.” Malkani, like Dias, isn’t sure that these numbers would prove a turning point that Sony needs to grow its curve on the upwards again from the No. 3 position it is on the GEC map.

Dias, however, pointed out, “The thing with ‘Bigg Boss’ is that this is one of those rare shows that would deliver better in the second season. The programme has that kind of quality.”

Another point to be taken note of is that internationally, in addition to the main ‘Bigg Boss’ episodes, the channels and networks that air ‘Big Brother’ manage to create a lot more awareness and excitement around the show with ancillary and wraparound programming. Not that the tactic worked for any of the shows in India prior to this, but the ‘Bigg Boss’ case isn’t on the ‘Big Brother’ lines here.

The ‘Bigg Boss’ short programmes have largely delivered below 1 TRPs. Commenting on this, Malkani said, “I’m not sure how many people really follow any programme in that manner – they really watch a show during their TV viewing time. Perhaps it may be useful in pulling a few new eyeballs to the main show, but I don’t think that really would be significant numbers.”

The bottomline: It may be so far, so good for ‘Bigg Boss’ in India, but the channel has to ensure that the numbers don’t see another dip in the next week.

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