Finally, SET India's bet on brand Bachchan seems to have worked for its flagship channel Sony TV with the season 5 of Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC). The charisma of the actor and the emotional bait chosen to promote KBC has worked in favour of the channel and brought in the viewership to push the channel to the No.2 position.
READ: Banking on Bachchan
According to the latest All India TAM Data for Hindi Speaking Markets (HSM) for week 34 when KBC was launched, the channel moved up to the No.2 position, pushing Colors to No. 3. Sony garnered 50 Gross Rating Points (GRPs) in week 34 ending Aug 20 taking the total to 245 GRPs from 195 recorded in week 33, whereas Colors lost 4 points resulting in a GRP of 232 points from 236.
STAR Plus continues to be the leader in the market with a channel share of 23 per cent (297 GRPs) among Hindi General Entertainment Channels (GECs)). Sony has increased its channel share from 16.1 per cent to 19 per cent in week 34.
The 5th season of KBC took off on a colourful note on Independence Day with a performance from Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy (SEL), with the opening episode getting a 5.24 TVR, according to TAM Mid-week data for week 34.
Sony TV that was in the 4th position - with 187 GRPs in week 32 lagging behind Zee TV which had 190 GRPs - for a long time finally moved up the ladder to no.3 position in week 33 as Sony made it to 195 GRPs and Zee TV remaining at 190, pushing Zee TV behind to the fourth position.
The Sony team is no doubt elated with the progress the channel has made. The channel has been struggling for a couple of years to be a strong No.2. Despite the channel having a good mix of programming with comedy, fiction and realty shows the channel has not been able to garner viewership. Media observes have blamed it on the marketing abilities or to the fact that the channel is very urban-centric. For a GEC being mass-oriented works.
On the current achievement, Sneha Rajani, Senior EVP Business Head, Sony Entertainment Television says: "KBC 2011 has been the only non-fiction show to open above 5 TVR this year on any Hindi GEC. We are delighted at the performance of all our shows and over the next 4 to 5 weeks we will further consolidate our position."
A look at the past on how KBC has performed-data from TAM indicates that, the first season of the property that had run for 270 episodes had an average TVR of 14.1 while the average for the second and third seasons were reduced to 11.1 and 6.8 TVR respectively. And this is despite the fact that the episodes got compressed - to 60 for the second edition as Bachchan continued to host and 53 for the third with SRK as host.
But the thing to be noted here is that Sony has been consistently increasing its viewership and thereby its channel shares in the recent weeks (14.4% in week 31 to 19% in week 34, according to TAM). This is all thanks to the new show "Bade Ache Lagte Hain" from Balaji Telefilms stable. The show opened on May 30, 2011, in week 23 with a TVR of 1.3 in the 10.30 PM slot and has since then steadily been growing the viewership. In week 34 the show has garnered a viewership of 3.7 TVR.
Media Planners and buyers also seem to agree with this. Sejal Shah, EVP, Vivaki Exchange, explains: "Its not KBC that has boosted the channel share and its GRP, but it's other programme "Bade Ache lagte Hain" that is doing well and has brought in the viewership". "KBC has been in the past as well on the channel but it has never turned the fortunes of the channel to this extent. More brands are now keenly looking to buying on Sony TV," she adds.
Punitha Arumugam, CEO of Madison Media Group adds: "After the IPL debacle, Sony has been growing from strength to strength. They have a good fiction show in "Bade Ache Lagte Hain" and now KBC 5 has worked tremendously for them."
KBC 5 is being broadcast at 8.30 pm to 10 pm, from Monday to Thursday, half an hour earlier than it used to and for one and half hour, and the duration has also been increased to one and a half hours from one hour. KBC's new tagline says that "Is hot seat pe koi bhi Insaan chota nahi hota". Another interesting fact is that the number of participants from small towns has increased considerably, dreaming to win a whopping Rs. 5 crore.
Let's wait for a couple of more weeks to see if we have a new new No.1 or will it be back to being a strong No.2 like it was several years ago.